A Legislative Column from Assemblyman Ray Walter (R,C,I-Amherst)


            During my first year in the State Assembly, we have focused on getting the economy moving again and creating jobs. As a result, the United States Chamber of Commerce has ranked New York among the top 10 “performing states” in their “Enterprising States: Policies that Produce” report, examining economic factors such as job growth and livability. While this is certainly positive news, the fact of the matter is we had practically nowhere to go but up. A 2011 survey of 650 business leaders conducted by Chief Executive Magazine ranked New York 49th among states in which to do business. This is why we must continue building on our momentum by fostering job creation and economic development.


            Government does not create jobs, but government can create policies that make it easier to start and grow small businesses that in turn create jobs. That is why I am sponsoring several bills to assist job creators and remove the job-killing regulations that stifle their growth. The BizBoom Act is a prime example of these efforts. According to the Small Business Administration, businesses often require a full year to recuperate start-up expenses and turn a profit. This bill would provide tax exemptions to new businesses starting in or relocating toNew Yorkduring their first year and phase in payments in years two and three. Not only will this free up capital to create jobs and incentivize businesses to do so here in our state, but a provision requiring businesses to re-pay these credits if they leave New York within their first six years of operation protects taxpayers as well.


            Two more bills I am sponsoring are aimed at taking advantage of high-tech start-up companies that major research universities like UB tend to generate. The Invest NY legislation would expand access to existing business-tax assistance while creating the Angel Tax Credit, awarded to individuals investing at least $100,000 in applicableNew Yorkbusinesses. In addition, the New York Business Incubator Network would promote partnerships between the academic sector and high-tech companies through a series of matching grants for expenses such as equipment and staffing.


            There may be no better way for government to create a job-friendly environment than untangling the 49,000 pages of job-killing regulations found inNew York. The D-RREG legislative initiative would create the Division of Regulatory Review and Economic Growth to put all of the state's rules and regulations on the table and examine what must be amended or repealed entirely. DRREG’s recommendations would take effect automatically unless the Governor or Legislature actively rejected them.


            We have seen how much impact a single legislative session can have onNew York’s economy. By continuing to support job creation and a positive business environment for our employers, we can truly restoreNew York’s status as theEmpireState.

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