Buffalo Niagara employers are committed to providing their employees with affordable healthcare, but the cost of doing so continues to climb. The Buffalo Niagara Partnership supports comprehensive access to coverage without imposing new regulations and fines on employers. Last year, 75% of Buffalo Niagara Partnership members who participated in our annual survey indicated that they experienced healthcare cost increases. That is why advocating for lower healthcare costs is one of the Partnership’s 2018 Advocacy Agenda priorities.
Higher education remains one of New York State’s most significant economic sectors. A strong percentage of that activity happens right here in Buffalo Niagara as our region is home to a robust offering of first-class public and independent colleges and universities. The Buffalo Niagara Partnership outlined our support for fully funding the state’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) in our 2018 Advocacy Agenda as one way to best position our economy to benefit from the impact of local higher education.
Buffalo Niagara employers operate in one of the most highly taxed and overly regulated economic environments anywhere in the country. The Tax Foundation once again ranked New York State has having the second worst business tax climate in the country. The Buffalo Niagara Partnership outlined our priorities for tax relief in our recently released 2018 Advocacy Agenda.
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.
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.
The 2015 New York State Legislative session is one for the history books – but not for what was accomplished legislatively.
This tumultuous session, which saw the leaders of both the Senate and Assembly resign their leadership posts in scandal, ended more than a week later than scheduled and with very little legislative activity.
We strongly oppose yet another hike in New York State’s minimum wage.
“New York already pays one of the highest minimum wage rates in the country, with a scheduled increase to $9.00/hour set for the end of this year. Attempts to raise the minimum wage again – to levels that would put New York’s rate well above the vast majority for the country – will do nothing but further disadvantage our state which is already well known as a high-tax, overly regulated, and unfriendly place for business,” said our President & CEO, Dottie Gallagher-Cohen.
The Partnership had several wins as part of the state budget process.
The New York State Budget is mostly on time this year (officially missing the midnight deadline by just a few hours).
As the Governor and State Legislature work to finalize a State Budget before the April 1 deadline, the future of both Design-Build and IDA ‘reform’ in New York is becoming clearer.
The Buffalo Niagara Partnership and our partner organization, Unshackle Upstate, have long advocated for a permanent Design-Build program in New York.