Tax Cap

2019 NYS Legislative Session Wrap Up

By Tiffany Latino-Gerlock, Director of Government Relations and Communications at MACNY, The Manufacturers Association & MANY (The Manufacturers Alliance of New York State) 

The 2019 Legislative Session wrapped up in Albany at the end of June with a flurry of activity and hundreds of bills passing before lawmakers adjourned for the summer and headed home to their district offices.

Below is an overview report from The Manufacturers Alliance of New York of some of the new measures that state legislators passed this session that may have an impact on your company and its operations. If you have any questions about these bills, or the overall 2019 Legislative Session, please contact Tiffany Latino-Gerlock, Director of Government Relations and Communications at MACNY, The Manufacturers Association & MANY (The Manufacturers Alliance of New York State) at 315-474-4201 ext. 13 or at tiffanylatinog@macny.org.

New Measures:

Permanent Property Tax Cap – a tax cap that places a limit on the growth of school property taxes at two percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. MANY has long supported and advocated for a permanent property tax cap.

Expansion of the MWBE Program – legislation that reauthorizes the Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) program and extends the provisions of law relating to the participation of MWBEs in state contracts for the program to continue. The legislation increases the “Personal Net Worth” cap from $3.5 million to $15 million. 

Pay Equity in the Workplace – package of bills that expands the definition of “equal pay for equal work” to prohibit unequal pay based on a protected class for all substantially similar work. It also includes a salary history ban prohibiting employers from asking applicants about their salary history when determining the wages of a prospective employee. 

Women on Corporate Boards Study – legislation that requires the department of state, in collaboration with the department of taxation and finance, to conduct a study on the number of women directors who serve on each board of directors of domestic and foreign corporations authorized to do business in NYS.

Small Business Tax Credit – legislation to establish a small business tax credit for a company that employs a disabled person for the duration of six months and who works a minimum of thirty-five hours per week. The amount of credit per hired person shall range between five thousand to twenty-five thousand dollars.

Workforce Development Funding – $750,000 secured in the 2019-20 State Budget for the Manufacturers Intermediary Apprenticeship Program (MIAP) to continue. MANY and Alliance Partners worked hard from the start of budget negotiations to ensure that this funding was included in the final budget. 

Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act – legislation that enacts the CLCPA requiring reductions in statewide greenhouse gas emissions to 60% of 1990 levels by 2030 and 15% of 1990 levels by 2050. It also creates the Climate Action Council that will be comprised of various stakeholders, including Energy-Intensive Trade Exposed Industries (EITEs), to help develop a plan on how the state will achieve an 85% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. From the beginning of this legislative session, MANY and many of our members strongly advocated for changes to the original proposal to help protect manufacturers and for EITES to have a seat at the table during the scoping plan process. Furthermore, EITEs will be a part of the working transition group that will advise the council on issues for workforce development, training, and energy-efficient measures.

Next Year’s Priorities:

Support – Though we didn’t see the full passage of a bill that MANY has long championed for, which would provide a zero percent tax rate for all manufacturers, we are pleased to report that it advanced in the State Senate, unanimously passing the Budget and Revenue Committee.

Support – Continued and increased funding for the Manufacturers Intermediary Apprenticeship Program (MIAP) to help grow a larger network of registered apprenticeships at companies throughout the Hudson Valley and statewide. 

Oppose – Also not approved this session was a bill that would mandate a prevailing wage on almost all construction projects in NYS that receive any state, regional, or local financial support. Earlier in the year, MANY joined a coalition of business, building, affordable housing, construction, health care, and economic development groups to oppose the bill and voice concern with its potential to halt future economic growth. We will continue to track any movement on this proposal. 

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New York State Legislators and Governor Cuomo Agree to a $175 Billion Budget Plan

State leaders announced Sunday they reached a budget deal just in time for the fiscal year that starts Monday.  The $175.5 billion plan includes an array of deals, but leaves a few major decisions undone — such as legalizing marijuana and creating a board to decide how to publicly finance political campaigns.

Here are some of the highlights:

Manufacturers Intermediary Apprenticeship Program (MIAP)
The final budget included $750,000 for MIAP to ensure the program can continue and grow in partnership with the Alliance Partners.  Thank you to the Alliance Partners, companies, and apprentices who advocated relentlessly for this program.  Whether you wrote or called your State Legislators or travelled to Albany for Manufacturing Lobby Day, your efforts resulted in this funding being included in the final budget.   We will be thanking all the legislators who ensured this funding was continued and encourage you to thank your representatives for their support as well.

Empire State Apprenticeship Tax Credit
We are pleased to report the continuation of the Empire State Apprenticeship Tax Credit in this year’s budget.  If you are not already accessing this tax credit, we encourage you to do so.  Information can be found here:  https://labor.ny.gov/apprenticeship/empire-state-tax-credit.shtm A big thanks to Assemblyman Bronson for creating this tax credit and ensuring its continuation. 

Pass-Through Manufacturing Zero Tax Rate
Unfortunately, the zero tax rate for pass through manufacturers was not included in the final budget.  Our team of Alliance Partners along with our expert Paul Henry of The Bonadio Group, worked diligently starting early last fall and through the last days of the budget negotiations to have this important provision included.  While we were not successful, we made a tremendous amount of progress including securing a new Senate sponsor, Senator Kaplan – Chair of the Commerce and Economic Development Committee, to join Assemblyman Stirpe, the sponsor in the Assembly.   In addition, we educated many legislators and administration officials on the positive impact this rate would have on the more than 11,500 manufacturers an their over 300,000 employees.  We will continue to advocate for this issue in 2019 to further laid the ground work for the next budget cycle.

Prevailing Wage
The Senate and Assembly included language in their one house budget proposals that was ultimately rejected in the final budget that would require prevailing wage on public works projects, as written, this would have included IDAs and grants from the REDC program. This proposal was championed by Senator Jessica Ramos – Chair of the Senate Committee on Labor, Assemblyman Harry Bronson and members of the organized labor community specifically, the building and construction trades unions. While Governor Cuomo has expressed support for expanding the definition of public works, he recognizes the need to find a reasonable compromise that does not halt development in the state. We expect the prevailing wage conversation to continue this legislative session, the Governor has made it clear this is one of his post-budget priorities. 

A Permanent Property Tax Cap
The budget deal included the enactment of a permanent 2% property tax cap. Making the tax cap permanent is a massive win for hardworking taxpayers across New York State.

Economic Development
The state’s economic development efforts are the biggest beneficiary of the new budget, getting a 10 percent funding bump. (Spending as a whole, by contrast, went up a smaller 2 percent.) Much of that is earmarked for the Empire State Development Corporation, which distributes various state tax credit and grant programs.

Billions of Dollars in New Taxes
Unfortunately, this budget also includes billions dollars in new taxes, fees and assessments that will further burden business and taxpayers at a time when they can least afford it. New energy taxes on New York businesses, fees on broadband deployment, a new ban on plastic bags and fee on paper among several others will only add to New York’s high tax reputation and make the state more expensive to live and do business.

Taxpayer-Financed Political Campaigns
The Legislature approved $100 million taxpayers’ dollars be set aside annually to fund a matching system for political campaigns. Details including amounts and eligibility will be worked out by a special commission

 

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