How could upstate prosper?

briccettiA guest viewpoint “Disappointed in Democrats but still hopeful,” appeared in the Elmira Star Gazette on December 29. Heather C. Briccetti, President and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc., speaking for business interests, commends NYS Senate Democrats for recognizing the economic woes affecting upstate communities, suggests that a “truly substantive” plan is needed, and outlines certain proposals. What she suggests may or may not be measures that would “immediately improve the economy throughout the state,” but there is no doubt that they reflect Republican dogma.

  1. Reducing workers comp costs
  2. Making the property tax cap permanent
  3. Phasing out the 18-a energy assessment
  4. Lowering energy costs
  5. Scaffold law reform
  6. Opposes $15/hour minimum wage
  7. Blames Democrats for $14 billion in new taxes

Briccetti suggests that Democrats would do well to get their ideas for reforms from business interests. She echos upstate Republican propaganda which suggests that NYC is the root of upstate economic problems. How NYS government could lower energy costs, Briccetti doesn’t say.

(I don’t believe phasing out the 18-a surcharge would significantly lower energy costs. On my bill a recent charge is less than 1%.)

I fail to see any of Briccetti’s proposals which would “immediately improve the economy throughout the state.” Several might tend to shift the cost of NYS government from businesses to individuals. One in particular, opposing an increase in the minimum wage, would adversely impact low income workers and more than likely help keep upstate workers locked in poverty. Another, making the tax cap permanent, might adversely affect the ability of local governments and school boards to provide needed services to New Yorkers.

Briccetti’s suggestions might well benefit business at the expense of individual New Yorkers. However the idea that what is good for business is good for everyone is surely wrong.

Note: Per the Business Council, “Section 18-a of the New York Public Service Law authorizes the state to impose a fee on electric bills from public utilities to fund the operations of energy-related agencies and authorities.”



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This entry was posted in Economics, NYS Government, Political, Taxes and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to How could upstate prosper?

  1. Maureen Harding says:

    All of those ideas do nothing to help grow the economy in Upstate NY. Their goal is to pay no taxes at all and have the taxpayers directly subsidize business profits. They have been quite successful. The new $14 Billion in new taxes primarily benefitted New York State businesses in the form of subsidies. Five decades of the same ideology has done absolutely nothing to create jobs or expand the economy in Upstate NY. Voters in the Southern Tier have to change this status quo by voting out entrenched Republucan politicians who have been feeding from the public coffer for decades. They and their crony business campaign contributors complain about the taxes that feed their profits (aka directly from the taxes withheld from your pay checks) and claim erroneously that it is big government and education (we have a much smaller government and even fewer students in public schools from any other time in the Upstate NY’s history) while subsidies for businesses is now the largest chunk in our tax pie. They have been the only ones to benefit while working class salaries have declined. CHANGE THE STATUS QUO-more tax benefits for the working class and disincentivize big business – create employee cooperatives and keep job creation local with local control. Create your own jobs and don’t count on government to help you…count on each other.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. josephurban says:

    We have a consumer economy. If low wage workers are paid more, they will buy more, helping business thrive. If low wage workers are paid less, they will have to depend more on the Food Stamp program and other public assistance, keeping taxes high. I can’t believe some folks are still trying to sell the failed economic ideas of the past.

    Liked by 1 person

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