Senator Fuschillo Announces Support For $1.3 Billion Small Business Assistance Package To Protect & Create Jobs

Charles J. Fuschillo Jr.

January 10, 2007

Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (8th Senate District) today announced his support for a new small business and manufacturing assistance plan that will help small businesses grow and create new jobs. The plan would provide $490 million in assistance in the first year and almost $1.3 billion in tax relief and assistance to small businesses statewide when fully implemented after three years.

"Small businesses are the lifeblood of our local economy," said Senator Fuschillo, a member of the Senate’s Commerce, Economic Development, and Small Business Committee. "By creating a plan that will lower taxes, provide new economic incentives, and streamline bureaucracy, we will encourage small businesses to expand and create new jobs."

The small business assistance plan includes the following measures:

Cutting Business Taxes

Small Business STAR Property Tax Rebates -- This plan establishes a Small Business STAR program that would provide direct property tax rebate checks to small businesses that pay school property taxes and employ less than 20 people. Much like STAR and the STAR rebate program, businesses will be able to get a rebate check on the school taxes paid on the first $30,000 of market value of their business property. It is estimated that the average rebate check would be $700.

Eliminate Income and Corporate Franchise Taxes on Manufacturing -- would save manufacturing companies in New York $550 million annually.

Reduce Corporate Franchise Tax Rates -- Save New York companies $150 million annually by reducing the net income rate from 7.5 percent to 6.85 percent over a three year period. This reduction in taxes would help attract new businesses, support existing businesses and create more jobs.

Eliminate S-Corp Differential (Eliminate Multiple Tax Calculations) --
Save S-Corporation businesses $20 million this year and simplify their tax filing requirements by allowing them to pay their taxes through their owners’ personal income taxes. This greatly simplifies the process of filing business tax returns, and results in a small tax savings for the businesses. The federal government allows these businesses to file their federal taxes in this manner.
Current state law requires to S-Corporations to calculate the state corporate franchise taxes they would have paid had they not elected to be taxed as S-Corporations, and then pay the difference between the taxes paid through their owners income taxes and the corporate taxes they would have paid.

Commercialization of Centers of Excellence and Genesis Centers Research -- Create refundable wage and investment tax credits for businesses connected through the State’s academic and business incubators for research and development to encourage expansion and investment. Amend the current tax law that penalizes companies that have created research & development jobs in the State from manufacturing here.

Reducing Business Costs

Energy Cost Assistance -- To help small businesses deal with the rising cost of energy, the plan would create a credit of two cents per Kilowatt Hour that would be applied directly to eligible businesses’ tax liability. Businesses that do not owe taxes would receive a rebate check. Businesses that have 20 or fewer employees would be eligible for this credit.

Relief from red tape and improved customer service for small businesses -- Make it easier to start or expand a small business by simplifying their regulatory burdens, substantially reduce their paperwork, produce "one-stop shopping" to start or expand a small business, and eliminating unnecessary or overly burdensome fees and permits. The plan would:

> Expand New York State’s existing Online Permit Assistance and Licensing (OPAL) program to cover all New York State departments, agencies and authorities that require permits, registrations and fees. This would allow businesses to make all applications at one time and make all payments for initial registration electronically.

> Businesses could pay all applicable State fees and costs at one time, rather than pay them at different times throughout the year. An electronic filing option will be granted to every such taxpayer at no additional charge.

> The State would create a demonstration "511" service to provide small businesses with one easily accessible number to direct questions and provide assistance to small businesses looking to open or expand in New York State.

Additional Businesses Tax Relief and Incentives

Sales Tax Exemption for Businesses Located in Academic Incubator Facilities -- Companies located in academic incubator facilities would receive a state sales tax exemption for the purchase of equipment costing $500 or more. Localities would be able to opt into this exemption as well. These companies, by nature, are small and have limited resources. The sales tax exemption would reduce equipment costs, which can be an impediment to the success of these small businesses. This proposal would save companies $500,000 annually in state taxes and twice that if all localities opt into the exemption.

Eliminate Petroleum Business Tax (PBT) on Non-Residential Heating Fuel -- To further reduce energy expenses for small businesses, heating fuel for non-residential purposes would be fully exempt from state taxes. Heating fuel for residential homes is already fully exempt from state taxes.