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Guest Column: State Sen. Tom O'Mara

"New York economy a mixed bag "

ALBANY, June 4 -- How was this for a couple of days to bring things into perspective for
New York State?

Last Tuesday, we woke up to news stories on the latest data from the Tax Foundation -- which earlier this year highlighted New York’s business tax climate as the second worst in America – showing that “New York tops the nation in one key export: people fleeing high taxes.” That’s right, according to the latest figures, during the decade from 2000 to 2010 more than 3.4 million New Yorkers moved to other states, mostly Florida. High taxes were cited as a major reason why.

The following day, a report from the state comptroller reached this conclusion on the state of New York’s economy: “We’re not out of the woods yet.” This report, which you can find on, showed that upstate New York, including the cities of Binghamton and Elmira, continues to struggle more than New York City and its suburbs to recover jobs and begin reversing stubbornly high unemployment rates.

The message was clear: New York still has work to do to keep people here, and to get more people working, especially upstate.

Given these two developments, it couldn’t have been timelier last week for the State Senate to act on a new job creation plan, one that I’m co-sponsoring and that we’re calling “New Jobs-NY.” The Senate had pushed to include key portions of the New Jobs-NY plan in this year’s state
budget. While this initial effort didn’t convince the Assembly leadership, it’s clear that business tax relief and job creation incentives have to remain high priorities.

So the Senate set the stage again with New Jobs-NY. We’ll keep pushing. It would cost $130 million this year and while the Senate approved the plan nearly unanimously, with strong bipartisan support, some detractors still question its affordability. But the message New Jobs-NY would send to small businesses and manufacturers -- and the potential it offers to encourage private-sector job growth – would ultimately, in our view, be worth much, much more. And it’s an investment that’s needed now.

Working together with Governor Andrew Cuomo, we’ve taken important steps over the past year to try to keep New York State moving toward a dramatic economic turnaround. But clearly we need to keep doing more to remove New York from the list of states with the worst business climates in America. Government can help lead that effort by cutting taxes and controlling state spending, which is the bedrock of the Senate plan.

I think it’s especially important that while the Senate plan stays focused on small businesses, it also targets a manufacturing resurgence as the foundation of future private-sector job growth and economic security for upstate communities and workers. New Jobs-NY proposes to strengthen
the state’s economic competitiveness and improve New York’s business climate through a broad strategy involving significant tax relief, and fiscal responsibility and spending control across state government.

Specific highlights include:
-- an unprecedented, three-year phase-out of the state corporate franchise tax and personal income tax paid by manufacturers;
-- providing small businesses with a corporate tax rate cut from 6.85 percent to 5.5 percent – a 20 percent reduction;
-- assistance for New York's small brewers through a new Production Credit and Label Registration Credit to encourage the expansion of the state's vibrant craft brewing industry; and
-- a Hire-Now-NY proposal to encourage businesses to expand the work force. For each new job created, a business would get a tax credit of up to $5,000. That credit would increase up to $8,000 if the job goes to someone on unemployment. An enhanced Hire-A-Vet tax credit of up to $10,000 would go to any business that hires a veteran returning home from military service.

[Read more about New Jobs-NY on] It’s a plan supported by leading statewide business organizations including the Business Council of New York, Unshackle Upstate. the National Federation of Independent Businesses, and the Manufacturing Association of Central New York (MACNY).

In the words of MACNY President Randy Wolken, the Senate’s approval of New Jobs-NY was “a big day for manufacturers statewide.” Now we need to keep working for an even bigger day by convincing state Assembly leaders that the time is now to enact New Jobs-NY and give Governor Cuomo the chance to make it law.

Photo in text: State Senator Tom O'Mara


Schuyler County Officials

Legislature Members:

Top row (from left): Dennis Fagan, Thomas Gifford, Doris Karius, Glenn Larison

Bottom row: Michael A. Yuhasz, Barbara Halpin, Phil Barnes, Stewart Field


Legislature Chairman

Dennis Fagan, Tyrone 607-292-3687

Legislature Members:

Michael A. Yuhasz, 535-4967

Doris L. Karius, 546-5544

Barbara Halpin, 594-3683

Glenn R. Larison, 594-3385

Thomas M. Gifford, 535-9517

Phil Barnes, Watkins Glen 481-0482

Stewart Field, Watkins Glen 535-2335

County Clerk: Linda Compton, 535-8133

Sheriff: William Yessman, 535-8222

Undersheriff: Breck Spaulding, 535-8222

County Treasurer: Margaret Starbuck, 535-8181

District Attorney: Joseph Fazzary, 535-8383


State, Federal Officials for Schuyler County

Sen. Charles E. Schumer

United States Senate
313 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-3201
DC Phone: 202-224-6542
DC Fax: 202-228-3027
Email Address:

Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand

United States Senate
478 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
DC Phone: 202-224-4451

State Senator Tom O'Mara -- Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Yates, western Tompkins, Enfield, Ithaca (Town and City), Newfield, Ulysses(Trumansburg)

Room 812, Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12247
Phone: (518) 455-2091
Fax: (518) 426-6976

Assemblyman Christopher Friend -- Chemung, Schuyler, Tioga
Room 720, Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12248
Phone: (518) 455-4538


© The Odessa File 2011
Charles Haeffner
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869