Take a look through the Unshackle Upstate web site and we’ve got our reaction to and recommendations for the New York State budget pretty well covered. For us, New York’s road to recovery is pretty simple: reduce spending and reduce (and certainly no new) taxes, fees, assessments that make doing business in this state expensive. There are a number of clickable options on this web page that will help you not only learn Unshackle Upstate’s position, but also get involved in advocating for them.

Another piece of our platform is no new regulations on employers looking to invest and create jobs in New York State. At the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, we refer to this part of our daily (and believe me, it’s a daily effort) advocacy as “playing defense.” Albany special interests are incessantly trying to further regulate what is already a highly regulatory business climate in New York State, and the impact of that atmosphere is felt particularly seriously in Upstate.

Currently, for example, currently there is a push by special interests to include previously rejected legislation in the state budget that would impose costly wage mandates on any employers utilizing the services of an industrial development agency (IDA) in New York State. IDAs are a worthwhile economic development program that help to mitigate the high-tax, high-cost of doing business atmosphere in New York. Typically, an IDA incentive can save a new or expansion project 10-15% of construction costs – which could be the deciding factor between a company bringing jobs to New York or taking them elsewhere. Wage mandates that special interests are pushing would add 28% back onto the cost of the project. There are a lot of employers represented in Unshackle Upstate (over 40,000!) and I’ve yet to meet one who would pay 28% extra to save 10-15%. That’s why we refer to the proposed IDA legislation as a “job-killer.”

Another example: In the Buffalo Niagara region and across Upstate, agribusiness is a key industry sector. Yet, despite the fact that agribusiness is a multi-billion industry that supports hundreds of thousands of New York jobs, downstate special interests are pushing legislation that, among other things, would open the door for farmworker strikes – even in the middle of harvest. If you know the agribusiness industry, you know that there are precise times of year that the work must be done – unpredictable labor issues invoked by increased state regulation would have a detrimental effect on the industry.

These are just a couple examples – “playing defense” against proposed anti-business regulations is a full-time job in New York. The Buffalo Niagara Partnership and Unshackle Upstate stand committed to educating business and personal taxpayers on the repercussions of poorly-designed and politically-motivated legislation that will end up costing New Yorkers jobs.