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Small Business Day reminds Albany leaders to remove costly mandates

— Small business owners throughout New York State recently made their way to Albany. Chief among their concerns again this year pertained to overreaching regulations and paperwork mandates, which add to the overall cost of doing business. More than 100 people from several business organizations traveled to the Capitol to remind lawmakers about New York’s notorious business climate and to push for reforms, to make doing business in this state more affordable and friendlier. I support many of their initiatives and I want to talk about them in this space this week.

Tax rate reduced

One positive change for small business that passed in the budget was a tax rate reduction. By 2018, the corporate tax rate for manufacturers will drop by 25 percent. This brings the corporate tax slightly more in line with the national average and, therefore, makes us more competitive with neighboring states. The Manufacturers Association of Central New York expects this will save manufacturers roughly $300 million. This reduction builds on the previous rate reduction that passed in 2006. Many manufactures at that time were able to use the savings to reinvest in their businesses, expand products and retain jobs. I’m hopeful this additional rate reduction will produce the same results. This is a clear example of what works to grow the private sector.

Repeal wage reporting mandates for business

There are many regulations we need to change or do away with. One law we need to repeal is the Wage Theft Prevention Act. Businesses are still dealing with this poorly conceived law. This mandate, intended to protect workers from wage theft, became effective in 2011. The idea sounds good but if employers were already following state and federal law, workers were already protected. Instead of enforcing the laws we had, the state added another layer of regulation and cost for businesses by creating a lot more paperwork and oversight for human resource departments and small business owners throughout the state. Not only must businesses provide these forms to workers, but the law requires they obtain signatures from employees stating the forms were received. All of this must be filed with the state. If you visit the New York State Department of Labor’s website, you can see how duplicative this is for businesses to comply with and, as I said, if they were already following the law, employees would be equipped with this information already.

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