Governor Cuomo’s Executive Budget proposal contains an item critical to bringing down the cost of electricity for local manufacturers. The Governor’s plan calls for the scheduled sunset of the 18-a Utility Tax on March 31, 2017. A mandated tax on the end user’s utility bill, 18-a hits manufacturers and other high demand users the hardest and puts them at a competitive disadvantage.
In putting together our annual Advocacy Agenda, we survey our membership to gauge their pain points and areas of concern. Each year, our members continue to identify high taxes and escalating labor costs as their largest barriers to success. Those results are not surprising. Buffalo Niagara employers operate in one of the most highly taxes and overly regulated economic environments anywhere in the country.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is doubling down on the Buffalo Billion. At his Buffalo State of the State address at the University at Buffalo yesterday, Cuomo outlined his continued commitment to the Buffalo Billion – rebranded Buffalo Billion2 (Buffalo Billion Squared). The Governor told the crowd he will include $500 million in funding for the Buffalo Billion2 in his proposed budget later this month and hopes the State Legislature backs the full allocation. The funding will be used to support several development projects and initiatives in Buffalo and throughout Western New York, including:
The Partnership’s annual advocacy survey proved once again that the high cost of doing business in New York State is the most pressing concern for Buffalo Niagara employers. We survey our members to better understand their pain points on a variety of issues and the feedback informs the policy priorities we advance in our Advocacy Agenda each January.
For Buffalo Niagara employers, the New York State Legislative session could not have ended soon enough. Still reeling from the passage of a State Budget this spring that cemented New York’s earned reputation as one of the least business friendly states in the nation, employers were bracing for another round of mandates, regulations and cost-shifts in the final weeks of legislative activity.
There are just a handful of weeks left until the State Legislature wraps up the 2016 session and leaves Albany behind for another year. The end of session crunch is typically defined by heavy legislative activity, but there are strong indications this year’s session may wind down with little fanfare. Whether a little or a lot gets done over the next month, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership and our allies are making sure state legislators know what is important to New York’s employers.
The Governor and State Legislature have reached an agreement on the State Budget and, in doing so, have turned their backs on New York employers and doubled down on the state’s well-earned reputation as the most unfriendly place in the country to own and operate a business. The employer mandates contained in this budget are unprecedented and will continue to hold back the Upstate economy.
Despite the snow and bitter cold, more than 120 Buffalo Niagara Partnership members braved the elements to share a meal and talk about the New York State Budget at our annual Legislative Luncheon earlier this month. This event gives our members an opportunity to have direct and informal conversations with member of the Western New York delegation as legislators begin state budget negotiations.
Once again this year, Governor Cuomo broke with tradition and combined the annual State of the State with the Executive Budget Address and delivered one speech to the New York State Legislature. And once again this year, the Governor’s proposals are a mixed bag for Buffalo Niagara employers.