Public policy is a complicated business in New York state. During each two-year cycle, tens of thousands of legislative bills are introduced for consideration. That far exceeds the number of bills that larger or similar size states introduce during their sessions. To make it easier for taxpayers, Unshackle Upstate issues legislative memos that explain our position on a variety of the bills. How legislators advocate and vote on these bills is the basis of the scorecard that we release at the end of each cycle. The objective: To help taxpayers and job creators cast educated votes by demonstrating where their elected officials stood on the items in Unshackle's pro-taxpayer/job creator agenda. Please click the PDF below and read the memos. While they are a bit complex, the last paragraph of each explains why we support or oppose a bill. If you agree with our position, please share the information with your friends and family to help educate them as well.
For a complete list of legislative memos, please click here.
Energy & Environment
NYS has some of the highest electric and gas rates in the country, largely due to taxes and fees on our natural resources and the systems used to deliver them. But they are also affected by antiquated laws that prevent construction of new generation facilities and extraction of natural resources from the ground. We support policies that allow us to improve our energy delivery system without jeopardizing our environment or adding taxes and fees.
According to the Tax Foundation, NYS has the worst business climate in the country. The basic reason: A tax structure based on the belief that businesses can and should pay for more than their fair share. We must reverse this trend. We need to encourage private sector job growth by implementing more practical - and less punitive and cumbersome - and removing mandates so our employers can compete in the global economy.
Unshackle Upstate advocates for responsible state spending, with no new taxes and fees. New York state simply cannot continue to live beyond its means. Keeping to our pledge of offering solutions - rather than merely pointing out problems - we outline places within the state's budget where we feel cutting is possible and appropriate. Controlling state spending is essential to reducing the burden on taxpayers and job creators, and improving New York's economy.
From century-old regulations on construction to legislation that tilts the collective bargaining process in favor of public sector unions, New York is flush with laws that need reform so we can repair our economy and lower our tax burden. Yet each year, reform fails as taxpayer dependent organizations push for the status quo to remain. We must introduce and adopt practical solutions that will reverse our negative trends and move New York toward a better future.
Until New York fixes its business tax climate, it must do what it can to retain current businesses while enticing others to move to New York. That includes using the Excelsior Jobs program to offer tax credits that encourage growth and promoting issues such as Tax Increment Financing and New Market Tax Credits to help bolster state and local funds.
Unshackle Upstate works to change existing policies, and prevent the implementation of new ones, that hamper economic growth and job creation. We are working toward lower taxes, less government spending and reduced red tape. We issue memos supporting policies that are line with our issues and against policies that will result in new taxes and fees and drive up the cost of doing business in New York state.