Senator Skelos: New York Needs Its Own Economic Stimulus Plan

Dean G. Skelos

January 29, 2009


Job Creation Plan Must Be Substituted For Job Killing Tax Hikes 

            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, Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos said that new job creation initiatives must be part of the 2009-10 state budget. 

            “We are in the midst of the worst economic times since the Depression,” Senator Skelos said.  “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.  Senate Republicans are fighting to reduce the tax burden on businesses so they can create jobs, not cut them.”

                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 a year, including eliminating property tax rebates and 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, many of them in Upstate New York,” Senator Skelos said.  “With the economy already negatively affecting businesses, that could result in those businesses cutting thousands of jobs to make up the difference.  Senate Republicans are calling for much more effective, commonsense Empire Zone 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 Skelos said.  “It has worked before and it can work again.”

            Senator Skelos said Senate Republicans 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.

            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 Skelos said.  “We must make the Senate Republican’s 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.”

            In addition to proposing an economic development plan, Senate Republicans have fought for a property tax cap to bring skyrocketing property taxes under control and for a constitutional state spending cap that would strictly limit increases in state spending.