Senate Passes Bills to Reduce Energy Costs for Businesses

May 29, 2013

The New York State Senate today passed two bills that would help businesses save money by increasing commercial tax exemptions for heating fuel and helping dairy farms invest in energy-efficient technology. The measures would reduce the cost of doing business in New York State to help spur economic growth in agriculture and other key industries. 

The first bill (S3471), sponsored by Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats), helps attract and retain businesses by offsetting high energy costs. The measure would provide a full tax exemption for fuel used in nonresidential heating. Businesses would save approximately $7 million a year by expanding the current commercial exemption for the state’s petroleum business tax from 70 percent to 100 percent.
“We need to keep taking step after step to improve this state’s business climate.  This legislation targets one of the heaviest burdens facing all small businesses - high energy costs,” said Senator O’Mara. “It’s one more way to try to keep changing New York’s reputation as a high tax, over-regulated state.” 

Another bill (S1081A) passed today and sponsored by Senator George D. Maziarz (R-C, Newfane) would create an energy efficiency loan fund to provide grants and low-interest loans to dairy farms for advanced energy technologies and projects that boost energy efficiency. As family farms continue to struggle with depressed wholesale milk prices, this loan fund would provide low-cost tools to farmers to help purchase high efficiency lighting, high efficiency pumping and cooling equipment, and other energy management systems.

“Dairy farms are some of the biggest energy users in New York,” said Senator Maziarz, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee.  “This legislation will help dairy farms decrease their energy costs, and in turn will provide them with more capital to spend on their farms, such as buying larger herds.  With New York being the largest yogurt-producing state in the country, this cost-saving measure will only help grow that industry even more and provide New York with an even bigger market.”

The bills have been sent to the Assembly.