But Franklin County Legislator and Tupper Lake Mayor Paul Maroun reads Cuomo’s pledge for “no new taxes” as a death knell for the proposals in motion throughout the North Country.
“The governor said ‘no new taxes,’ which means the bed tax in Franklin County is out. Sales-tax increase in Essex County is out. St. Lawrence County’s planned sales-tax increase is also out.”
The governor proposed increasing the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.75 per hour.
Sen. Little said that while most small-business owners she has talked with are not in favor of raising the minimum wage, she hopes the workers-comp improvements will balance the scales.
“It could be a wash for businesses if they have to pay less for workers comp,” she said.
Liquor and Wine Warehouse Owner Steve Carpenter said while he starts his employees above minimum wage, it’s even more important that he offers them a steady number of hours each week, rather than fluctuating their amount of hours worked.
It can be hard for employees to develop a budget if they don’t know how much they will make in that pay period, he said.
It’s also why he tries to not lay people off.
“People need to have a steady income,” he said.
Carpenter said an increase in the minimum wage means more money goes to the state in payroll taxes. He proposes, instead, offering every employee a tax break on their first hour of work each week, which would benefit them during the course of a year.
Assemblywoman Janet Duprey (R-Peru) said she was happy the budget included no prison closures for the North Country.
“We didn’t expect any, but it is always a sigh of relief when you finally hear it.”
Duprey applauds the recommendation that counties would not have to have their sales-tax plans approved by the state every two years unless they are raising the amount.