January 17, 2014

North Country leaders tout tax-relief proposals

PLATTSBURGH — Local leaders are praising Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed tax-relief measures as game changers for Upstate New York, including the North Country.

Several touted the benefits of the measures during a press conference at Lakeside Container in Plattsburgh on Thursday morning.


North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas said that, in the past, any positive reforms usually were quickly lost as state legislators returned to a “business as usual” pattern of spending increases. They addressed deficit crises through tax increases and a variety of revenue generating gimmicks.

The result was a constant loss of jobs and population, he said.

“Now, things have changed remarkably.”

Douglas said the Cuomo administration has used measures such as the property tax-levy cap and reforms of the pension and Worker’s Compensation systems to get its house in order and can now focus on creation of a business-friendly environment.


The governor’s plan calls for a reform of the corporate franchise tax structure and decreasing the rate to 6.5 percent, which would be its lowest level since 1968. Officials say that would simplify the audit process and provide businesses with $346 million in annual tax relief.

Another measure calls for elimination of the corporate tax rate for upstate manufacturers. That is expected to save an annual $25 million.


A real-property tax credit would create a refundable credit against corporate and personal income taxes equal to 20 percent of a firm’s annual real-property taxes. That would bring the manufacturing sector $136 million in tax relief.

Lakeside Container Owner George Bouyea, whose family owned manufacturer of corrugated products was founded in 1958, moved to the present, state-of-the-art facility on Arizona Avenue in 2002 to help remain competitive.

The real-property tax credit addresses one of the company’s largest expenses, he said.

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