New York state is no longer in last place. Changes approved in the new state budget have moved New York state from 50th to 48th place in the 2014 State Business Tax Climate Index, according to the Tax Foundation.
Before the changes, New York ranked 25th best out of the 50 states in the corporate tax system. If the changes enacted by the bill were in full effect for the most recent version of the index, New York's corporate tax system would have instead ranked fourth best of the 50 states, behind only three states that have no corporate income tax. This is a tremendous leap forward. The overall ranking of 48th place takes into account the state's high property and individual income tax components, and leaves New York ahead of New Jersey and California.
Among the key changes are: reducing the four tax bases for calculating corporate taxes to three; cutting the corporate net income tax rate from 7.1 percent to 6.5 percent (the lowest since 1968); merging the bank tax system into the corporate tax system; and restructuring the estate tax to exempt many small businesses from hefty taxes upon the death of their owners. It is important to note that many of the changes will be phased in, and will not be fully implemented until Jan. 1, 2016.
The Tax Foundation, in its report, notes, "New York is not a low-tax state, and its economic success is because of strengths that overcome a challenging tax environment, with recent tax commission reports recommending many of the changes incorporated in the bill. High taxes need not also be complex or poorly structured taxes, however, and removing these obstacles will encourage job creation and economic activity. New York's 2014 corporate tax reform is an impressive first step toward tackling this problem by broadening bases, lowering rates, reducing burdens, and eliminating needless complexity."
The tax overhaul in the new state budget is a great step forward for New York state in an effort to become more competitive for business growth. We commend Gov. Cuomo for his leadership, and we thank state Sen. Cathy Young and Assemblyman Andrew Goodell for their support.
The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier have worked hard on this issue, yet we still have more work to do. Clearly the state's high property taxes are still a barrier to business growth. We will continue to advocate for overall tax reductions to improve the general business climate, even as we celebrate and applaud these corporate changes.
Networking Event Is May 9
The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce helps to create opportunities for business people to network and reach out to new customers and markets. The next Experience Chautauqua Networking Event will do just that on Friday, May 9 at Shawbucks Press Room in Jamestown. This event is being held as a preview to National Train Day festivities the following day at the historic Gateway Train Station, right across the street.
Chamber members are welcome to attend this event, from 5-6:30 p.m., at the low pre-registered cost of just $10. It is sponsored by Blackstone NEY Ultrasonics, Buffamante Whipple Buttafaro, Dahlstrom Roll Form, DFT Communications, the Jamestown Jammers, KeyBank, the OBSERVER, The Post-Journal, UBS Financial Services, Univera Healthcare Southern Tier, VIE for Fitness, and Media One Group. Make your reservation online now or call the Chamber at 366-6200 or 484-1101.
After Hours Is May 14
The Mayville-Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce will host a Business After Hours on Wednesday, May 14, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Athenaeum Hotel at Chautauqua Institution. This is a networking opportunity for Chamber member businesses and prospective members. There will be a brief presentation on the newly formed Chautauqua Lake Alliance, along with some networking games. Attendees are encouraged to bring their business cards and Chamber members are invited to bring business brochures to distribute.
The cost is just $5 per person, payable at the door. Hors d'oeuvres will be provided and a cash bar will be available. You can register online at www.chautauquachamber.org or call the Chamber at 484-1101 or 753-3113.
Breakfast Is June 6
Each year the Chamber of Commerce provides an opportunity for its members to meet directly with the county executive and ask questions. This year, with Vince Horrigan new in the role of county executive, and with a number of important issues facing county government, we expect the business community to turn out in force for this event.
The County Executive Breakfast will be held Friday, June 6 at the White Inn in Fredonia. Breakfast begins at 8:30 a.m., with registration opening at 8 a.m.
The event is sponsored by: Chautauqua Institution, DFT Communications, SUNY Fredonia, Jamestown Community College, Jamestown Mattress Company, KeyBank, Nestle Purina PetCare, Phillips Lytle LLP, Serta Mattress Company, SKF Aeroengine North America, Southern Tier Environments for Living, Univera Healthcare, WCA Hospital, and Media One Group. To make reservations, please call the Chamber at 366-6200 or 484-1101, or register online at www.chautauquachamber.org.