Energy costs are a major deterrent to attracting and retaining businesses. Residential consumers pay nearly 62 percent more per unit for electricity than the national average. Natural gas prices in New York are 28 percent higher than the national average. I'm pleased the Governor has proposed more affordable energy to manufacturers for a longer period so they can plan accordingly, however, we need to improve energy costs for residents as well as small businesses. Energy is at a premium because supply is down. If we pass legislation to site another nuclear facility, for example, this would automatically lower costs. If we reduce the taxes assessed to power companies, they would pass those savings onto businesses and residents. Two years ago, energy taxes increased in the state, only making the invitation to businesses less attractive. I support energy tax repeals in the Assembly.
Real property and sales are other major taxes that, if reduced, would improve the economy for businesses and residents alike. It remains to be seen if the legislature will pass a property tax cap, which would help substantially. We do need to reduce state mandates for county and local governments, however, if we are to truly lower property taxes.
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