TAX SYSTEM: Blame Albany, local entities

Sometimes the Business Council of New York State only gets a portion of the big picture. Though appropriately angered by the latest ranking of the Empire State in the tax climate index from the Tax Foundation, its blame is only levied at Albany.

“The Business Council pushed hard for the 2014 corporate tax reforms, and we are proud to see the Foundation recognize that work by moving our corporate franchise tax ranking into the top 10,” said Heather C. Briccetti, president and chief executive officer of The Business Council of New York State. “Unfortunately, this is the lone bright spot for the Empire State. Our overall ranking of 49 is simply unacceptable. No economic development program in the world would allow us to overcome the systemic faults in our tax system that makes us uncompetitive in relation to our fellow states.

“We hope the governor and the Legislature take these rankings to heart and work hard to enact real, substantive changes that will improve our state’s economy and the lives of all New Yorkers.”

Big change not only needs to happen in Albany, however. The biggest chunk of inefficiency happens right at home. High property taxes and fees are allowed to continue due to a false belief that somehow small government control is better than a more streamlined system.

It is tough doing business in New York state. But it is even tougher doing business with the local government folks who are trying to squeeze every bit of revenue from wherever they can.