For years chambers of commerce have been able to offer health insurance coverage to our members at a much more affordable rate than they could buy independently. This has always been an important issue with our small business membership – the desire to provide good quality health insurance for their employees.

Yet what I hear virtually everyday it seems, is alarming. Our small businesses are at the breaking point and simply cannot absorb any more costs to their operations. This is especially alarming when it comes from members who typically fly under the radar when it comes to our legislative advocacy efforts.

Small business is on life support in New York and the prognosis from Albany is not looking very good. After imposing a whopping $700 million in new taxes and fees last year, there are an additional $890 million in “dedicated taxes and assessments to finance health care investments.” In reality, this is nothing more than a wolf in sheep’s clothing. At the end of the day, a tax is still a tax, despite how well-intentioned it may be.

As far as I can see, these investments do nothing to alleviate the following conditions: a long-standing addiction to overspending and an acute reluctance to make the cuts necessary to sustain New York’s fiscal health.

We cannot be led to believe that there is some distinction of what makes for a good tax. If it increases costs to business or unnecessarily levies a higher burden on taxpayers, it is simply unacceptable.

When you think about it, the remedies for New York’s fiscal ills are quite easy to find. Ask any of the thousands of members of the Unshackle Army and they will tell you clearly: Albany, heal thyself.