New York State Senate approves package of bills to assist small businesses with Addabbo's support

NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. recently joined with his Senate colleagues in approving a package of bills that seek to assist New York’s small businesses by cutting tax rates, expanding minimum wage tax credits for employers, providing aid for pollution prevention, and enhancing small business interactions with state agencies.

“New York’s small businesses are the economic engine of our entire state, and they deserve our support to grow and succeed,” said Addabbo. “Here in the 15th Senate District, our small businesses give character to our communities, provide a place for neighbors to greet one another while making purchases and running errands, and help to boost our local economy. Lending a hand to our small business community will always be a priority of mine.”

The legislation supported by Addabbo would:

-- Prevent state agencies from fining small businesses for a first violation of an agency regulation as long as the violation doesn’t directly affect public health and safety. The agency would then provide informative literature to the company, or have an in-person meeting with the business to discuss new and existing regulations. (S.4120)

-- Require every state agency to designate an existing employee to serve as a liaison to the small business community, and advocate for these companies within the agency. (S.6706)

-- Create a Small Business Environmental Fund to help small businesses leverage capital through financial institutions to move forward with pollution prevention, control and compliance projects. (S.2999)

-- Enable employers to receive the minimum wage reimbursement tax credit for eligible employees who are paid up to 50 cents more than the minimum wage, which will rise to $15 an hour in New York City at the end of 2018. In 2015, employers were provided with a tax credit of $1.35 per hour for hiring youth aged 16 to 19 at minimum wage, and this bill raises the wage threshold for receiving the tax credit – a move that may encourage more employers to give raises above the minimum wage without losing the tax incentive. (S.6793)

-- Reduce taxes on small businesses with incomes below $500,000. The bill would lower tax rates from 6.5 percent for companies earning up to $290,000 to 2.5 percent for companies making up to $400,000. It would also include small business partnerships, LLCs, and S Corporations in the Small Business Tax Exemption for both State and NYC income taxes, and raise the exemption from 5 percent to 15 percent of net income. (S.2120)

While supporting these helpful initiatives for small businesses, Addabbo noted that he found it necessary to vote against a bill (S.1116), which would have extended the state’s School Tax Relief (STAR) program to businesses employing up to 100 workers.

“There’s no question that small businesses need tax relief to expand and prosper, but this legislation (S.1116) was too vaguely written to win my support,” said Addabbo. “It didn’t include any income eligibility ceiling, meaning that a small business with earnings in the millions or billions could be getting a tax break while residential homeowners with annual household incomes of more than $500,000 are ineligible for relief. In addition, this bill could be extremely expensive for New York State, and jeopardize the viability of the existing STAR exemption for low- and middle-income residential property owners. I understand the appeal of the proposal, but I believe we can do better.”

All of these small business bills, now that they have passed the State Senate, must be reviewed by the State Assembly.