Senate Seeks Small Business Development Strategy

George Winner

January 10, 2007

Albany, N.Y.-- Tax cuts and regulatory reforms are the building blocks of a wide-ranging small business assistance plan being unveiled today by State Senator George H. Winner, Jr. (R-C, Elmira) and his colleagues in the Senate Republican Majority.

In addition, Winner said the Senate will soon convene a series of public hearings on restructuring New York’s economic development programs so that they better reflect the state’s economic diversity and respond more effectively to regional, targeted job growth needs.

"Small business is the backbone of the upstate, rural economy. We’re offering an economic development strategy that recognizes the importance of small business to the hope for an upstate economic revival," said Winner.

The Senate plan proposes a total of $1.3 billion in small business tax relief and assistance over the next three years. Among many initiatives, the plan would eliminate the corporate income and franchise tax for manufacturers; provide direct property tax rebates to small businesses; provide tax relief for businesses that pay personal income tax; provide tax credits for the costs of energy; and implement further regulatory reforms.

There are nearly 500,000 small businesses (fewer than 100 employees) in New York State, with 70 percent of them employing ten people or less. The Senate small business assistance plan would:

> eliminate the income tax and corporate franchise tax on manufacturers, regardless of size;

> create a Small Business STAR program to provide direct rebates to small businesses that pay school taxes and employ less than 20 people;

> establish a refundable tax credit to help nearly 400,000 small businesses with rising energy costs;

> reduce the Corporate Franchise Tax rate from 7.5 percent to 6.85 percent;

> expand incentives to encourage emerging technology companies that do research and development in New York to also manufacture their products here;

> authorize a sales tax exemption for the purchase of equipment costing $500 or more for small businesses located in academic incubator facilities;

> eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax for farms and make the investment tax credit refundable. The Senate plan also seeks to expand the Farmer’s School Tax Credit Program to leased farmland; and

> provide relief from red tape and bureaucratic overregulation by simplifying and reducing paperwork, eliminating unnecessary or overly burdensome fees and permits, and create a one-stop information center to help someone start or expand a small business in New York.