Business, Farm Friendly Bills Receive Senate Go-Ahead

ALBANY, 05/29/13 – The New York State Senate today passed a pair of bills co-sponsored by Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I- Oneonta) that will provide savings for small businesses and dairy farmers.

Senate bill 3471 would eliminate the Petroleum Business Tax (PBT) on heating oil for small businesses.  The measure would provide an estimated $7 million in annual savings.

“Our small businesses deal with escalating costs at every turn,” said Senator Seward.  “I have helped cut taxes and establish several new programs in recent years to enhance the business environment in New York and this is another improvement that will make a true difference.”

According to the Empire State Petroleum Association, the current PBT rate for non-residential space heating use is 5.5 cents per gallon.  In addition, the PBT is adjusted annually which increases the rate when prices are higher.

Senate bill 1081A would establish a grant and low interest loan program to help dairy farms install energy efficient technology.  High efficiency lighting, high efficiency pumping and cooling equipment and other energy management systems would be covered through the program.

“Farmers are already among our leading land stewards.  Providing them added incentive to install and utilize energy efficient equipment makes a great deal of sense.  Along with protecting the environment, this measure will simultaneously reduce costs protecting the future of dairy farming in New York State,” said Seward.

The New York Farm Bureau, in a memo of support writes: “This legislation would provide farmers with low-cost tools to help them become more energy efficient and reduce the cost of doing business.  The program would also provide dairy farmers with efficient energy management systems, like variable speed pumps and high efficiency lighting, which will result in significant energy savings and increased milk yields.”

“The cost of doing business in New York has put our state’s employers at a competitive disadvantage.  Both of these measures aid in leveling the playing field and will improve our overall business climate helping us reach the ultimate goal – job growth,” Seward concluded.

Both bills have been sent to the assembly.