By Todd J. Tranum,
President and CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce & Executive Director of the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier
New York state's new budget provides some substantial tax relief which will be very good for business. Tax reform is always a top priority for the Chamber/MAST because it is at the heart of creating a better climate for business statewide and here in Chautauqua County.
The new 2014-15 State budget holds the growth in spending under two percent for the fourth year in a row, and also provides nearly $600 million in annual tax savings for business. The Business Council has called these broad-based tax reforms the "most significant New York has seen in decades."
The budget reduces the corporate franchise tax to 6.5 percent, reforms bank and estate taxes, and adopts a 20 percent real property tax credit for manufacturers. Reforms to the estate tax law include increasing the exemption to match the federal exemption, which will eliminate estate tax liability for many small business and farm owners as well as homeowners. This is a tremendous improvement for small business and agribusiness owners who seek to maintain a family operation from one generation to the next.
The budget also includes funding for new economic development and infrastructure programs, as well as funding to support the tourism industry. Included are $150 million in capital funding and $70 million in Excelsior Job tax credits to be distributed through the regional Economic Development Councils and $680 million in capital commitments for the "Buffalo Billion" program. For marketing, the budget includes $50 million to continue the NY Open for Business marketing campaign, $5 million for competitive regional tourism marketing plans, and $1.1 million for Taste-NY to help market food and food products grown or made in New York.
On the education front, the state is committing $8 million to the New York State Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Incentive Program, a new financial assistance program for undergraduates matriculated in an approved undergraduate program leading to a career in STEM at a state public university. The measure would provide full scholarships to students who graduate in the top 10 percent of their high school class who commit to work in a STEM field in New York state for five years after college graduation.
We expect the significant tax reforms included will make New York more competitive for business growth, helping to promote private investment and create jobs statewide.
Chamber State Legislative Breakfast April 11
Each year, the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce provides opportunities for its members to have a direct conversation with elected officials from each level of government. This year, the State Legislative Breakfast will be held this Friday, April 11, at the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club, 433 E. Terrace Ave., Lakewood.
Senator Cathy Young and Assemblyman Andrew Goodell will provide their insights about legislation in Albany, and be available for questions from the audience.
This event is sponsored by Chadwick Bay Broadcasting-WDOE/WBKX, DFT Communications, Double A Vineyards, Fredonia College Foundation, Jamestown Community College, Jamestown Mattress Company, KeyBank, Nestle Purina PetCare, OBSERVER, The Post-Journal, Serta Mattress Company, SKF Aeroengine North America, WCA Hospital, and WJTN/WWSE/WKSN/WHUG/WQFX WJTN. The cost to attend is just $18 per person. To register, call the Chamber at 484-1101 or 366-6200 or visit the Chamber web site at www.chautauquachamber.org.
Hanover Community Chamber Appreciation Luncheon April 30
The Hanover Community Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual Member Appreciation Luncheon on Wednesday, April 30. The event will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Colony Seafood and Steakhouse, 876 Main Road, Irving.
Kelly Borrello, Hanover Community Chamber president, will give a brief introduction and opening remarks. Silver Creek Mayor Nick Piccolo will discuss economic development in the village. Craig Colburn, director of member development, and Todd Tranum, president and CEO, will speak on the state of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce.
All Hanover Community Chamber members are welcome to attend. The cost of the lunch is $15, with a choice of either smoked roasted salmon or grilled chicken caprese. To make reservations please call 366-6200 or sign up online at www.chautauquachamber.org. Reservations are appreciated by April 20.
Experience Chautauqua Networking Event May 9
The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce helps to create opportunities for business people to network and reach out to new customers and markets. The next Experience Chautauqua Networking Event will do just that on Friday, May 9 at Shawbucks Press Room in Jamestown. This event is being held as a preview to National Train Day festivities the following day at the historic Gateway Train State, right across the street.
Chamber members are welcome to attend this event, from 5 to 6:30 p.m., at the low pre-registered cost of just $10. It is sponsored by Blackstone NEY Ultrasonics, Buffamante Whipple Buttafaro, Dahlstrom Roll Form, DFT Communications, Jamestown Jammers Baseball, KeyBank, the OBSERVER, The Post-Journal, UBS Financial Services, Univera Healthcare Southern Tier, VIE for Fitness, and WJTN/WWSE/WKSN/WHUG/WQFX. Make your reservation online now or call the Chamber at 366-6200 or 484-1101.