One reason Senator David Carlucci chose the Nice-Pak, Inc. facility in Orangeburg to announce his five-point jobs plan Thursday is its location near the border with New Jersey.
Carlucci focused on helping New York find a competitive advantage with neighboring states as one of the keys to helping boost businesses in the state and create more jobs.
"We're here to talk about how we believe we can grow New York State's economy," Carlucci said. "We are here at Nice-Pak because this is a perfect example of a business with great jobs that delivers a great product to our community and the world. We're right on the border with New Jersey. We have to talk about how New York can have a competitive advantage in this global economy. We're competing with New Jersey. We're competing with Connecticut. We have to be proactive in our tax policies and our regulatory policies."
According to the New York State Department of Labor, unemployment in New York reached 9.1% for August 2012, higher than the national average. The rate is 7.5% for Rockland, Westchester and Putnam Counties combined, an increase from 6.7% the previous August.
"I've said before that all I want to do is make burritos. Can't I just make burritos," said Max Crisp, owner of American Burrito in New City. "In reality, no, I can't just make burritos. I have to worry about hiring. I have to worry about investments. I have to worry about product. The senator is rolling out a five-point plan that is going to help me do that."
The five points are as follows:
- Tax Cuts -- Carlucci supports legislation that would cut taxes for small businesses from 6.5% to 5.2%. He also continues to call for the MTA tax to be completely repealed.
- Tax Credits - Carlucci is pushing for legislation that would provide tax incentives up to $10,000 for any business hiring an unemployed New Yorker, with additional benefits for hiring veterans.
- Regulation Reform -- Carlucci is calling for state regulations to be simplified and reformed to be more business-friendly.
- Energy Costs -- Carlucci argued for repealing the 18-a assessment against utility companies, saying that the costs are just passed along to local businesses and consumers. He also stressed the importance of investing in finding alternative energy sources.
- Job Promotion -- Carlucci said he will work to make sure technology is used to connect job seekers with potential employers.
"Senator Carlucci's jobs plan is a solid proposal that will ensure communities like New City attract new businesses and ultimately expand our local tax base," New City Chamber of Commerce President Steve Weissblatt.
Carlucci said there is bipartisan support in Albany for the measures he is suggesting.
"Many of the pieces of legislation we talked about today, we’ve already passed in the Senate," Carlucci said. "We need to work to pass them in the Assembly."
One of those bills would phase the 18-A Assessment out by 2014.
"That will be a dramatic help to small businesses and industry in New York and all rate payers," Carlucci said.
Carlucci invited local business leaders to join him Thursday, including Crisp, Weissblatt, Nice-Pak Chairman Robert Julius and Pearl River Chamber of Commerce President Kevin Hardy.
"I am supportive of any initiative that has a chance of moving the economy forward, especially in our own community," Hardy said. "Small business in this country has suffered enough and it is time for government to recognize the incredible burden placed on small business and seek ways to allow us the freedom to drive the economy back to prosperity."
"Senator Carlucci's proposed legislation is designed to encourage employment in New York by helping small businesses, which are the heart of our economy, as well as incentivize businesses to hire veterans," Julius said. "His ongoing efforts to make New York State an easier and better place to do business are commendable. Eliminating wasteful laws and updating legislation to make owning and operating a business here less difficult should be a primary focus of our government. Senator Carlucci is at the leading edge of this. He knows that this results in the growth of jobs in New York State and increases in tax revenue paid by successful businesses here."
One bill Gov. Andrew Cuomo already signed into law allows small businesses to petition the state to reconsider existing regulations.
"Right now, it is a five-year period before (a regulation) can be opened up and reviewed," Carlucci said. "We want to shorten that period so when there are advancements in technology or advancement in best practices, we can be sure it implement those in our rules and procedures."
The MTA payroll tax has already been reduced, but Carlucci argued that it needs to be eliminated entirely. That comes back to his choice of location for Thursday.
"The MTA payroll tax is an onerous, job-killing tax," Carlucci said. "It's a tax we have to pay right here in Orangetown, but you don't have to pay it right down the road in Bergen County. You don't have to pay it in Connecticut. That really hampers our ability to do business and attract employers like Nice-Pak. We have to completely repeal the MTA tax."