Subject: Time to Let NY Work
Wednesday, November 02, 2011 3:24 PM
Good afternoon friends. I wanted to share with you some fantastic news and a historic event for New York.
Yesterday, Unshackle Upstate was joined by 10 other groups to propose six very practical and cost effective mandate reform options for New York. The plan, called Let New York Work: A Common Agenda for the Common Good, is attached for your review. When fully implemented, these reforms will reshape our communities and make us proud to once again call New York our home.
Now, you may be wondering why this is historic since some of the ideas on the agenda have been talked about for quite some time. What is historic is that this is the first time that the business community, the taxpayers, municipal government and education organizations worked together to support a common agenda. Many of us, if you recall, were on opposite sides of the debate on the property tax cap. But we realize that if we are to make our communities affordable, we must work together to achieve meaningful and significant mandate relief.
But we have our work cut out for us. Almost as soon as our agenda was out, Danny Donahue, head of the CSEA, released this statement:
“The package of so called public sector reforms put forward under the banner of the Let NY Work coalition – apparently at the urging of Governor Andrew Cuomo – is another despicable broadside on working people. Their bile is a perversion of reality that misrepresents the facts about very complex issues facing our state.
Obviously, the Occupy Wall Street Movement has Governor Cuomo and his corporate allies worried and with good reason: Pressure is mounting because corporations evade paying their fair share of taxes through loopholes and political favoritism, while the super wealthy look forward to an indefensible $5 billion windfall at year’s end. All this as state and local governments continue to struggle with their finances because of state budget cuts demanded by Governor Cuomo.
It’s always easier to change the subject and scapegoat rather than face up to the ugly truth. Governor Cuomo and his front group are in the wrong place on these issues, as they talk about shared sacrifice and the common good. Clearly they mean for some, not all.”
The reality is that he is reacting to the fact that our message is on point…that we need to make our communities affordable…and that we can do it without raising spending and taxes. He is worried that we will sway the taxpayers to our side and get them to pressure their state elected officials to advance our agenda. And guess what…we will.
Please be sure to share this with your friends, family and colleagues. The more people that know the better our chances for success. And consider contributing to our efforts at https://www.unshackleupstate.com/get-involved/donate.
My sincere thanks to all of you for your time, your financial support, and your ongoing efforts to help advance our cause.
Brian Sampson, Executive Director
150 State Street, Rochester, NY 14614
Upstate’s growth is undermined by a state government that has focused on big spending and high taxes. We’ve introduced plans to lower taxes, grow our economy and make our government more accountable to change that.
We’ve heard it all: Upstate New York is a rust belt, a region whose glory days are history, a place that young people and retirees can’t wait to get away from. We’ve heard it. And we don’t agree with it.
Taxpayers need a voice in Albany. We are that voice. Our mission: to shine a spotlight on the state laws, regulations and governmental practices that are holding back our economy, and then create solutions that will lead to jobs and revitalize our state.
From May 12 2011:
Unshackle Upstate – a bipartisan coalition focused on fixing state government, making it more accountable to NY’s taxpayers.
Unshackle Upstate highlights its position on important issues by speaking out in meetings with elected officials, staff and key leaders, testifying before committees and issuing legislative memos.
Join us in sending a message to Albany. Whether it’s fighting for reduced taxes or state spending, e-mail your representative and let them know your position on important issues.
Through this website, Facebook, Twitter, email campaigns and UPAC, members of the Unshackle Army speak volumes about what New York’s elected officials must do to improve our state. Join us and make your voice heard.
From the Blog View More
As President of the Manufacturers Association of Upstate New York (MACNY ), I am often asked how the Upstate New York manufacturing sector is doing during such challenging times. Clearly,… | Posted: Nov 16th
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Recent Updates View More
- 3 out of 5 manufacturers reported that maintaining operations in NYS has worsened due to the economy and taxes: http://t.co/QtRnwPmh Tweeted: Nov 16th | 7:46pm
- 9 in 10 manufacturers across #NYS have a negative outlook on the current state of manufacturing within New York: http://t.co/QtRnwPmh Tweeted: Nov 16th | 5:56pm
- In our Midterm Report, we showcased the important measures both acted upon or forgotten in 2011. Join our efforts: http://t.co/8pfrFmPl Tweeted: Nov 16th | 3:16pm
News & Press View More
Posted: Nov 11th Unshackle Upstate Releases 2011-12 Legislative Progress Report (read press release). The complete 2011-12 mid-term progress report can be downloaded here. Excerpt: Reducing Mandates – “The tangle of laws and regulations that makes New York notoriously unfriendly to business and job creation also saddles local governments with expensive requirements, typically without funding to pay for them. The result: a tax shift to local governments to cover the cost of paying for a range of services – all at the expense of the taxpaying public.”
NY group seeks local government mandate relief Posted: Nov 4th
Renewed Calls for Mandate Relief Posted: Nov 4th
- Regulatory Reform
- Corporate Disclosure
- Proposed Guidelines for Independent Expenditures in NYC
- Municipal Mandates
- Governor Signs Legislation Easing Penalties on Small Businesses
- Items of Interest
- Annual Industry-Environment Conference
The Cuomo Administration has asked for recommendations for regulatory reforms that would improve the state’s economic competitiveness and eliminate barriers to new investments and new jobs in New York State. Based on previous input and recent conversations with Business Council members, we have compiled an initial list of recommendations.
We urge GAC members to discuss this request with your company’s regulatory staff, and provide us with additional regulatory reform priorities at your earliest convenience.
Please feel free to contact Ken Pokalsky or other members of our Government Affairs team to provide recommendations or to discuss further.
Written by Rob Lillpopp on September 29, 2011 – 5:07 am
A new coalition of New York employers, farmers and others has joined together to make a major push to reform New York’s century-old “Scaffold Law” to help promote economic growth and recovery throughout New York.
Under New York’s Scaffold Law, contractors, employers and property owners are held absolutely liable for “elevation related injuries.” When an injured worker sues, the contractor, employer, or owner is automatically liable even if they weren’t at fault.
New York remains the only state in the nation where a worker is not held responsible for his or her own negligence. Illinois was the last to reform the law, in 1995, and the effect was immediate: 50,000 new jobs and a sharp decrease in workplace injuries. By reforming the law, workplace safety will be improved.
“New York State’s elected officials must confront the fact that simply doing business here is more expensive than in almost every other state. The Scaffold Law is ‘Exhibit A’ of our outdated and biased legal system,” said Tom Stebbins, executive director of the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York (LRANY). “Reforming the Scaffold Law will be a first step to getting our economy moving again and sending a message that much-needed change has reached New York State.”
The tremendous costs of the Scaffold Law are passed along to all New Yorkers. Since there is virtually no defense against a million-dollar Scaffold Law suit, the cost of general liability insurance in New York is extremely high, driving up costs for all construction projects, including taxpayer-funded projects like infrastructure improvements and school construction. This has a significant impact on New York: construction costs go up, employers hire fewer workers (or must lay off those they do have) and the economy suffers.
The new Scaffold Law Reform coalition is supporting Assembly Bill 2835 (D- Morelle), which would give New York property owners, business owners, contractors and municipalities the chance to defend themselves in court when an injury occurs due to negligence. The bill would not prevent injured workers from suing their employers or prevent injured workers from receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
The coalition has launched a new website – www.scaffoldlaw.org – to educate New Yorkers about the issue and to encourage grassroots supporters to contact their legislators to express their support for reform.
“The Scaffold Law is more than 100 years old. A lot has changed in those years to help improve working conditions, including the development of OSHA standards and workers’ compensation. We need to modify this antiquated law which now serves as nothing more than an increase to the cost of doing business in New York and a deterrent to the creation of new jobs. In the end, every New Yorker pays the price,” said Stebbins.
# # #
Members of the Scaffold Law Reform Coalition include:
• Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York
• Associated General Contractors of New York State
• Business Council of New York State
• New York Farm Bureau
• National Federation of Independent Business
• Unshackle Upstate
• The New York State Builders Association
Make a Difference
Now is the time to make a difference! Tell your legislator that you want Scaffold Law reform. New Yorkers have borne this burden too long, and we need change to bring jobs back to the state!
Assembly Bill 2835 would hold workers liable for their fair share of fault when they act negligently, refuse to use safety devices, or are impaired by drugs or alcohol.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Where the State’s going -> needs a look at where it has been <-. The Following reports may be dated, but are all still quite relevant:
- Public Policy Institute: Natural gas drilling is essential to New York’s economic recovery (July 14, 2011)
- Public Policy Institute study shows the biopharmaceutical sector should be a growth engine for New York’s economy (July 11, 2011)
- Public Policy Institute report demonstrates critical need to rebuild NY manufacturing (May 19, 2011)
Study reveals 22 out of 25 highest taxed U.S. counties are located in New York State (April 2011) [We must note here @ MRN that where the Tax Cap may be a step in the right direction, without mandate relief, it will simply allow this problem to continue to grow at 2%/year]
REPORTS AND STUDIES (you’ll find other recent reports on individual pages under specific issue headings)
Most of the below reports are in PDF format click to download the free reader.
- Derailing New York’s Economic Engine
How Albany Punishes New York’s Largest Industry
- Short-Circuiting New York’s Recovery
How Energy Taxes Contribute to High Electric Rates in New York
- Unique New York 2010
Key indicators of the economic performance of New York State
- Empire State Exodus
The Mass Migration of New Yorkers to Other States
This report examines how many New Yorkers have been leaving the state, where they have been going and how much income they have been taking with them.
- Transcending the Hamster Cage
Unfettering New York State Innovation Economy
As countless studies have demonstrated, the key to unlocking the innovation economy is talented, driven and risk favorable people. Motivation, inspiration, and the capacity to dream and to act on those dreams are the greatest assets in the global innovation competition.
Report supporting data
- Benchmark New York State
Government-related costs of living and doing business in New York are more than $35 billion higher than if they matched such costs across the nation, a new study finds.
- Just the Facts
The cost of doing business is higher in New York than in most other states because employers must pay more for employee benefits, energy, taxes and other costs, an updated online edition of the Institute’s Just The Facts shows.
- What’s STAR got to do with it?
New York State spends billions trying to hold down school taxes–but they grow faster every year anyway. Could it be time for a new approach?
- Ahead of the Curve
Unlocking the power of innovation to turn NewYork State around, 2006
- New York needs real budget reform
But the Constitutional amendment proposed on the November ballot isn’t it. (September 2005)
- How High Is The Upstate Tax Burden — and Why?
Upstaters pay up to $6 billion more in state and local taxes than they would in an average state. Blame Medicaid, and payrolls.
- Could New York Let Upstate BE Upstate?
Upstate’s economy is in trouble. Part of the problem is “made in New York.” And more freedom might be part of the solution. (May 2004)
- New York State’s economy in 2004: Which way out?
Our job growth has become heavily dependent on taxpayer-funded jobs. That’s not a sound strategy for the long run.
- Leadership for the Schools We Need
A handbook for business people who want to make a difference on school boards, (July 2003)
- New Yorkers at the Millennium
New York continued to pull out of the population decline of the 1970s during the last decade, but growth in the state still lagged behind most of the country.
- A Fair Share — At Least!
Business taxes in New York State are far more than meets the eye — about one-third of all state and local taxes, in fact.
- A Pharm State
New York State is gearing up to capture the biotech jobs of the future. Our pharmaceutical industry already gives us an edge in the field. So we have an interest in keeping this sector strong.
- The Key to the Upstate Economy? Manufacturing — Still.
Despite talk of a ‘post-industrial’ economy, manufacturing is still, far and away, the most important creator of jobs in Upstate New York. (September 2002)
- What’s the Best Way to Help Low-Wage Workers Move Up?
“Living wage” laws sound appealing. But they can kick the ladder out from under people who need a chance to get started in the job market.
- On The Wrong Track
Railroads in New York State have left the 19th Century far behind. Our system for taxing them should, too. (February 2002)
- The Power to Grow
An updated analysis of the impact of additional generating capacity on New York State’s Economic Health, (January 2002)
- It Didn’t Work the Last Time
The last time New York faced a recession, we raised taxes and delayed tax cuts. That prolonged our recession—but it didn’t do much for state revenues. (December 2002)
- What can Business Do to Help the Schools Improve?
A panel discussion among education leaders and business experts. (October 22, 2001)
- The Power to Grow
Research: New York risks economic damage if it fails to add power — and can reap powerful economic benefits by increasing capacity, (October 17, 2001)
- 2001 Edition of ‘JUST THE FACTS’
booklet compares taxes, spending, jobs, other key indicators in New York and other states
- The Economic Impact of Single Factor Sales
Apportionment for the State of New York (January 2001)
- Putting Stock in New York State
The securities industry is vital to New York’s future. And tax reform can help keep it growing here. (March 2000)
- The hidden tax in New York’s energy bills
Reducing energy taxes—starting with the Gross Receipts Tax—will pay off in new growth, particularly for the Upstate economy. (February 2000)
- Straight talk about higher standards
A Q & A on New York State’s higher standards for education – and why they are important to students and employers, (December 1999)
- The $163 Lightbulb: How Albany’s Mandates Drive Up Your Local Taxes
By: Robert B. Ward, (November 1999) (*Pdf file)
- Medicaid: wreaking havoc in health care
How New York State’s runaway Medicaid spending is strangling the taxpayers and undercutting the quality of medical care. (December 1999)
- The tax New Yorkers pay to train other states’ doctors
A fresh look at the $2.7 billion in subsidies given to New York’s medical institutions (November 15, 1999)
- ‘JUST THE FACTS’
booklet compares taxes, spending, jobs, other key indicators in New York and other states. (April 21, 1999)
- Misguided Money
A reexamination of the $2.6 billion in subsidies provided by taxpayers and insurance surcharges to help finance New York’s medical institutions. (November 30, 1998)
- Driving Force
The role of lawsuits in pushing up the cost of car insurance in New York State, (October 28, 1998)
- The State of Manufacturing in New York State
Manufacturing is growing again in New York — but hasn’t caught up to national pace, (July 28, 1998)
- Going Global
New York manufacturers ship over $50 billion a year in exports; export jobs are 380,000 and growing, (May 12, 1998)
- An Accident And A Dream
new report from The Public Policy Institute says New York’s lawsuit industry costs billions, distorts justice, (March 19, 1998)
- “Just The Facts 1997 ”
Booklet Shows Key Economic and Social Indicators For New York, (July 8, 1997)
- School taxes far outpaced inflation in last decade; new study shows district-by-district increases, (June 18, 1997)