Appearing at a joint Friday press conference, state Sen. Greg Ball, Assemblyman Robert Castelli and state Senate candidate Bob Cohen called on the assembly to pass a series of tax changes meant to support small businesses.
“We cannot afford to send legislators to Albany who are not looking to create jobs, create jobs that grow our economy, so that people can put their families’ food on the table, said Cohen (R-New Rochelle).
The trio gathered at in Mount Kisco to tout their agenda, which would affect small businesses. It includes a 20-percent corporate tax cut, a 10-percent personal income tax credit, and tax credits for hiring new employees. The later proposal would be based on a sliding scale, with credits being higher for hiring people on unemployment and military veterans who are returning from service.
The corporate tax cut, according to the officials, is projected to save about $49 million for close to 200,000 small businesses. The 10-percent credit is projected to save about $80 million for 100,000 small businesses.
Castelli (R-Goldens Bridge), pointing to a small business example, described the Mount Kisco store as a “perfect example of the new businesses infusing some energy into our community.”
He added, “This is what we need. This is why New York is open for business again. The Governor has said it, we on both sides of the aisle want to work with him to ensure that New York is open for business again, and we remain the Empire State.”
The state Senate has a specific version of the jobs package, called the New Jobs-NY plan. It passed the chamber in May, although the Assembly has not acted on it.
Also discussed is increasing public-private partnerships (or "P3"), where the private sector can provide monetary backing for public infrastrcture. As an example, Ball (R-Patterson) repeatedly cited planned replacement of the Tappan Zee Bridge, and argued that P3 could help pay for bringing mass transit to it.
“We have an opportunity with the Tappan Zee to create tens of thousands of local jobs, high-paying jobs, jobs that will allow people to, to send their kids to college, to make their mortgage payment – real jobs."
Ball also feels that P3 would provide a boost to public employee pensions, funding for which is a costly matter for school districts and municipalities, by allowing for the funds to invest in them.
The Democratic challengers to the three politicians gave responses.
The campaign of George Latimer (D-Rye), who is Cohen's opponent in the 37th Senate District, sent the following: "The truth is Bob Cohen and his Senate Republican allies are too busy supporting outsourcers moving jobs out of New York rather than addressing the needs of small businesses in Westchester. George Latimer is the only candidate in this race that has a plan to cut taxes, create jobs and help small businesses."
Ball's challenger in the 40th Senate District, Justin Wagner (D-Croton-on-Hudson), had a statement as well, noting his own tax cuts proposal for small businesses. The statement also read that Wagner is in favor of a minimum wage increase.
Castelli's challenger for the 93rd Assembly District, White Plains Democrat David Buchwald, also weighed in with a campaign statement.
"It's astonishing to me that Assemblyman Castelli is out fighting for a bill that he won’t even sponsor in the Assembly. This is just another political press stunt to try to trick voters into thinking he is working to improve the business climate in our community. We need a representative that will actually work to improve our economy not just stand with other elected officials and talk about it. In Albany, I will fight for tax credits for businesses that create jobs, state investments in infrastructure projects to put New Yorkers back to work and make New York more business friendly and competitive.”
The 40th Senate District includes most of northern Westchester County, eastern Putnam County and two towns in Dutchess County. The 37th Senate District includes large portions of southern Westchester, plus the towns of Bedford and North Castle in northern Westchester. The 93rd Assembly district includes northeastern Westchester, and parts of central and southern Westchester.