The New York State Conservative Party urges the Members of the Legislature to reject Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposal for SUNY tax-free zones. The memo follows:
The Conservative Party supports lowering taxes for every business in New York State.
Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposal to create tax-free zones around the SUNY campuses acknowledges that New York's spending has produced a state that taxes too much and produced an atmosphere that discourages the entrepreneurial spirit that made New York the beacon of the free world.
Details are still unknown but it has been noted that SUNY presidents will have a strong say as to which businesses are eligible, but unclear who else will be involved in determining who is allowed to take advantage. As we have noted many times, government should not be deciding what business receives government handouts that give them advantages over other businesses.
There is no doubt that upstate New York is in dire need of economic development, however, carving out specific areas is not the way to bring jobs to New York. While across the board cuts may have an immediate impact on state finances (reducing taxes one point costs about $6 billion according to the Governor) it makes a long-term commitment to the economy, not just the 10 years the SUNY tax-free proposal calls for. Across the board taxes and regulations must be cut in order to make it possible for all New York to prosper.
This proposal also makes it clear that employees of the newly created businesses will not pay personal income tax for the first five years and then the first $200,000 will not be taxed for an additional five years. Instead of reducing taxes for all working New Yorkers, a select few – most likely anointed by government – will be exempt from the burden of paying the taxes the rest of the citizens of the state pay.
Governor Cuomo's proposal is shortsighted and generates resentment by changing the rules for some and not others.
The Conservative Party of New York State urges the Governor to come up with a better plan for upstate New York, one that levels the field for every business and one that will not have government deciding which business will win or fail. The free market must be the place where ideas succeed or fail.