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2008 Policy Agenda - Unshackle Upstate

I) Tax Reform
a) Business Tax Relief
i) Corporate Tax Relief: 9-A (Franchise Tax)
(1) Five-year phase in of elimination for all Upstate businesses. Estimated impact $150M first year, $300M second year, cost back loaded to years four and five
ii) Small Business Property Tax Relief: STAR for small employers. Provide rebate checks to small businesses comparable to STAR program for homeowners
(1) $700 rebate check to small businesses employing fewer than 50 people Upstate only would provide $115M/yr in relief

b) Personal Tax Relief (Keep NYers in NY)
i) Change standard deduction for young people ages 18 to 25 statewide
(1) Increase it from $7,500 to $10,000 (33% increase). Estimated impact $270M/yr
ii) Deduct student loan interest from taxable income (like federal policy) statewide. Estimated impact $18M/yr

II) Economic Development
a) Urban Site Development
i) Shovel Ready Sites
(1) Initiate new urban site development program intended to create large, shovel-ready sites
ii) Brownfield Reform
(1) Develop incentive programs that encourage private investment in brownfield development upstate (e.g. revise tax credit program, accelerate/ease access to funding, etc.)
(2) Balance remediation requirements with economic development opportunities by including Empire State Development in brownfields-related administrative decisions, and in the drafting of legislation
and regulations

b) Workforce Development
i) Align State Department of Labor and local Workforce Investment Board policies and criteria with those of Empire State Development, and ensure that they are connected to employer needs and

c) Energy
i) Create and implement a comprehensive, long-term energy program designed to yield maximum economic development benefits for the business community state-wide
ii) Reduce taxes and other regulatory costs on energy
iii) Support continued operation of economically viable nuclear and coal generating facilities (e.g., Indian Point) to ensure stable prices and diversity of supply
iv) Encourage construction of new electric generating capacity and other energy infrastructure to stabilize supply and costs and keep more Upstate power Upstate
v) Promote use of renewable and alternative fuels
vi) Make energy bidding to the grid competitive. NYISO should change bidding procedure so generators receive the individual amounts they bid to sell power instead of all bidders receiving the same
amount based on the highest bid placed each day to meet anticipated demand

III) Regulatory Reform
a) Scaffold Law Repeal/Reform
i) Support Morelle/Volker bill again this year

For more information, contact Deb Warner at 315-470-1845

Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce
572 South Salina St.  Syracuse, NY 13202-3320
Phone:(315) 470-1800   Fax:(315) 471-8545