Unshackle Upstate, a pro-taxpayer, Upstate focused advocacy and education organization, has released its 2018 Advocacy Agenda. The document identifies 43 issues that impact taxpayers and employers across New York.
“The proposals contained in our 2018 agenda can help New York address its multi-billion dollar deficit without adding to taxpayers’ burden. By holding the line on spending, reforming regulations that drive up the cost of construction and development, and promoting private-sector job growth, Albany’s leaders can get the state budget back on track,” said Greg Biryla, executive director of Unshackle Upstate. “New York faces serious fiscal challenges in 2018 and beyond, but the last thing Upstate’s economy, its employers or its residents can endure are any additions to our already suffocating tax climate.”
Specifically, the organization’s 2018 Agenda advocates for the following measures:
- Reject any new or expanded taxes;
- Reduce state spending and reform expensive mandates like Prevailing Wage and Scaffold Law;
- Stop imposing short-sighted, one-size-fits-all employer mandates that drive up the cost of business; and
- Make the property tax cap permanent.
Prominent business leaders from across the state voiced their support for Unshackle Upstate’s agenda.
“Western New York continues to undergo an exciting economic transformation, but many hurdles remain that stunt growth and job creation in Buffalo-Niagara. From taxes to mandates to regulations, Unshackle Upstate’s Advocacy Agenda addresses these barriers to growth and puts forward the solutions needed to achieve lasting economic vitality,” said Dottie Gallagher-Cohen, President and CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership.
Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Duffy said, “Unshackle Upstate has worked for a decade to address challenges faced by Upstate New York businesses and residents. This agenda addresses many of the concerns Rochester Chamber hears from its members on a regular basis. Working with partners like Unshackle Upstate helps Rochester Chamber grow the voice of our region’s employers and taxpayers while focusing on improving the Finger Lakes region’s economic future.”
“The Southern Tier is brimming with economic potential, natural resources and higher education assets. What we need are bold changes to our stifling tax and regulatory structure so that employers can afford to invest in their businesses and taxpayers can afford stay in the region,” said Jennifer Conway, President and CEO of the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce. “Unshackle Upstate’s Agenda is a roadmap for progress in the Southern Tier and across Upstate.”
“Once again, Unshackle Upstate has put forward a comprehensive and common sense agenda designed to support economic growth across upstate New York," said Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce. “It reflects the real, day to day challenges confronting upstate business and economic developers, and it's important we achieve real progress in the coming months.”
“The proposals in Unshackle Upstate's agenda will strengthen our communities and grow New York’s economy. We wholeheartedly support the reforms to project labor agreements and the prevailing wage law,” said Brian Sampson, President of Associated Builders and Contractors, Empire State Chapter. “Addressing these issues, which impact construction projects across New York, will save taxpayers billions of dollars in the coming years."