Skelos, Ball meet with Business Leaders: MTA, Property Taxes and Hostile Business Climate Top Concerns

ALBANY, NY (March 23, 2011) –Senator Greg Ball (R, C—Westchester/Putnam/Dutchess) and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R, C—Nassau) met with over 30 members of The Business Council of Westchester yesterday, as part of the group’s annual summit in Albany.

The Senators spoke with the council on a variety of pressing issues facing the business community including, MTA Tax, property taxes, state spending, Medicaid, business development, deregulation, and ways to create a more friendly business environment.

“It is imperative that we work with the business community to include provisions for job creation in this year’s budget. We need to make New York State more competitive in attracting and retaining business” stated Ball after the meeting.

Senator Ball and Senate Majority Leader Skelos spoke with the representatives about ways to make New York State more attractive to business owners.  Many organizations feel New York is creating a hostile environment for businesses, due to high energy costs and the high cost of workers’ compensation, property taxes, and health care. The state has also placed extra burdens on businesses by expecting them to fund the activities of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) through the MTA Payroll Tax.

“Those in Albany who think taxes are the answer to every problem must hear from the Hudson Valley and beyond that we are taxed beyond our ability to pay and we are simply not going to take it anymore,” said Senator Ball said. Senator Ball voiced his concerns about the unfair burden the MTA Payroll Tax has placed on small businesses in Westchester and the Hudson Valley. As it stands now businesses are being taxed thirty-four cents for every one hundred dollars they pay in wages to their employees.

Senator Ball is sponsoring legislation that will fully repeal the MTA Payroll Tax. “I am confident that measures like these will begin to make New York State more competitive and attractive to businesses. The State of New York consistently ranks among the costliest states in the nation in terms of corporate taxes, property taxes and personal income tax.”, Senator Ball said. He has been working with the Senate Majority Conference to ensure the inclusion of a full forensic audit of the MTA in the state’s 2011 transportation budget, as well as a stipulation that the audit be conducted within six months of the budgets passage.

“Business needs certainty,” said Paul Vitale, Vice President for Government and Community Relations at The Business Council of Westchester. “We have over 1,000 businesses ranging in size as members. New Yorkers are open for business.”

Majority leader Skelos said, “The Republican Conference has done much to control taxes and spending and to empower the private sector to create jobs and economic development.”

Senator Ball has proposed a number of business friendly legislative bills that will foster an improved business climate in New York. The Senator’s bills include S1891 the Job Creation & Taxpayer Protection Act which includes a three year tax credit of $5,000 for every new job created, an additional three year tax credit of $3,000 for every new job that hires an unemployed worker, a moratorium on new taxes and fees on small businesses, manufactures and farms; a rollback of the 2009 small business personal income tax, elimination of the corporate franchise tax and a new commission to make binding recommendations.  Additionally, the Act includes two Constitutional amendments that enact a 2% state spending cap and requires a two-thirds majority vote in both the house of the legislature on any tax levy.

The Senator also explained his bill, S2423, which provides a preference in state contracts for service-disabled veteran owned small businesses.

Senator Ball has invited all of the members of The Business Council of Westchester to attend his Economic Development Day which he is sponsoring in Albany on April 12th from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM.