February 8, 2014

Business Council touts Cuomo's tax reforms

PLATTSBURGH — Gov. Andrew Cuomo says his proposal to reform and lower business taxes would produce significant job, income and economic benefits for the state.

The Business Council of New York State agrees with that, Vice President of Government Affairs Ken Pokalsky told the North Country Chamber of Commerce at a recent presentation. 

He cited a report issued by the Public Policy Institute of New York State in mid January that found restructuring the tax code and that lowering the basic tax rate would produce 14,000 new jobs by 2019, a figure expected to grow to 18,000 by 2024.

The study also showed in-state personal income would increase by $1.3 billion by 2019 and $2.1 billion by 2024. The measures would also lead to $500 million to $800 million in new private sector investments, it says.


Pokalsky said the new package of tax reform does more to improve the overall business climate in the state, noting that, previously, the state focused on programs and benefits that were available to only a narrow band of businesses.

Elimination of the 2 percent Temporary Utility Assessment for industrial customers, originally scheduled for March 2017, would take effect for the next fiscal year, in the governor’s plan. 

“This (assessment) is recognized as having a detrimental impact on energy-intensive industries,” Pokalsky said.

Cuomo’s plan also calls for a speedier phaseout of the assessment for all businesses and residents. That is expected to save those who pay it, collectively, about $600 million during the next three years.

New York is one of only four states with separate corporate franchise and bank taxes. The governor’s budget contains a proposal to fold the bank tax into the corporate franchise tax, which would simplify accounting procedures.

In addition, the tax rate would be decreased to 6.5 percent from 7.1 percent for the more than 300,000 corporate entities in the state. The Governor’s Office has estimated this could provide businesses with $346 million in tax relief annually.

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