Senator Marcellino: Long Island Needs Its Own Economic Stimulus Plan

Carl L Marcellino

January 29, 2009

In the aftermath of Monday’s announcement that more than 78,000 Americans lost their jobs in a single day, including thousands in New York State, Senator Carl L. Marcellino said that new job creation initiatives must be part of the 2009-10 state budget to turn around the economy on Long Island.

“We are in the midst of the worst economic times since the Depression and due to the collapse of the financial services industry, thousands of Long Island residents have lost their jobs,” Senator Marcellino said. Overall, more than 43,000 New Yorkers lost their jobs last month and millions more are worried about the future. Raising taxes for businesses and families would be the worst thing we could do for our economy because it would cause businesses to leave and more jobs to be lost. I am fighting to reduce the tax burden for businesses on Long Island so they can create jobs, not cut them.”

Since December 2007, New York has lost more than 122,000 jobs - - including 21,600 in Nassau and Suffolk counties alone, and the current unemployment rate in the two-county region has risen to 5.8 percent.

In his Executive Budget, Governor Paterson proposed $6 billion in tax increases, fee hikes and other gimmicks that would increase expenses for businesses and cost New York families more than $3,000 per year, including eliminating property tax rebates, raising taxes on health insurance, gasoline and home heating.

Economists estimate that, during a recession, every $100 million in new taxes results in a loss of 11,400 private sector jobs. Governor Paterson’s proposed increases would cost the state 600,000 jobs. That figure would be in addition to the 180,000 job losses already forecast by the Paterson administration.

“The Governor also wants to get rid of Empire Zone tax benefits and raise taxes on more than 2,000 businesses,” Senator Marcellino said. “With the economy already negatively affecting businesses, that could result in those businesses cutting thousands of jobs to make up the difference. I am calling for much more effective, commonsense Empire Zones reforms that would redirect existing funds into tax relief targeted at small businesses to create jobs, but not eliminate benefits for businesses that rely on them to maintain and grow jobs.”

“When New York faced budget and economic challenges in the mid-1990s, we cut taxes and businesses responded by creating new jobs and turning around our economy,” Senator Marcellino said. “It has worked before and it can work again.”

Senator Marcellino said he will fight to include funds to pay for economic development in the budget and to ensure that economic development programs are better utilized to create and maintain jobs on Long Island and across the state.

Senate Republicans proposed and passed a job creation plan last December that would:

  • Reform the Empire Zone program by redirecting unused program funds to businesses to create jobs and improve accountability;
  • Help small businesses obtain loans through a state loan guarantee program;
  • Reduce health insurance costs for employees of small businesses by expanding the Healthy NY program;
  • Expand tax credits for investments by emerging technology businesses;
  • Provide low cost student loans to families and create a tax credit program to offset loan costs for students who go to college in New York, and stay employed in New York for 10 years;
  • Eliminate state regulations, red tape and paperwork that shackle small businesses through a “Berger” style commission that would review regulations and issue recommendations that would become law, and,
  • Give local governments greater authority to provide tax breaks for community and neighborhood revitalization projects.

“The lesson is simple, when you cut taxes you create jobs and help the economy, when you increase taxes you give businesses a reason to leave and cut jobs,” Senator Marcellino said. “We must make my job creation plan part of this year’s budget. When coupled with the federal economic stimulus package, we can get New Yorkers working and earning once again so we can grow our way out of this recession.”