Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What's Missing ? . . .

Our new State Senate majority leader, Dean Skelos, had an editorial in the NY Post a couple days ago, "To rebuild NY's economy." He proposes "a new economic-development plan to make better use of the funds now dedicated to Empire Zones," which program is set to expire in 2011. He indicated a problem with the current program is that businesses outside the zones do not feel they are treated fairly. Good point. Mr. Skelos would use the funds from the Empire Zone program all over the state.

The broad-based tax reduction under this plan should boost small businesses - the engine driving New York's economy. We'd cut the corporate-franchise tax in half the first year for small businesses - and completely eliminate it for small manufacturers in the second year.. . .

The plan also provides tax incentives to manufacturers that are directly tied to the number of jobs they create and the personal income taxes that those jobs generate. . . .

On top of this, the plan includes measures to help small businesses access capital loans, to expand the underused Healthy New York program so more businesses can buy low-cost health insurance for employees, and to encourage private investment in community-revitalization projects. . . .

We'd also help students afford higher education through a low-cost student loan program and offer tax credits to offset the cost of those loans for people who stay and work in New York for 10 years after graduation.

WOW: Eliminate the corp. franchise tax, give incentives for jobs, more business loans, more student loans, more health insurance, more community revitalization . . . Mr. Skelos makes it sound like NYS will be able to do something for almost everyone by eliminating the current program.

Sorry . . . I don't buy this . . . especially without seeing the numbers.

While cutting taxes sounds good, the various "incentives" and more of this and that sounds like a lot of bureaucracy will be perpetuated to administer the new program.

If eliminating the Empire Zone program can really pay for elimination of the corporate franchise tax plus a lot of new/expanded programs, why not, instead, ditch the new/expanded programs and their administrative bureaucracy and give everyone a tax break?

Leaving money in people's pockets rather than taking and redistributing it per another state government program would be the best boost that NYS could give to its economy.

The words I would like to hear from Mr. Skelos, but do not, is that NYS will "SPEND LESS."

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