Legislative Column by Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R,C,I-Melrose)

I’ve visited a number of local small businesses and talked to their owners. As the backbone of our upstate economy, these entrepreneurs are responsible for not only their outstanding products and services, but they also provide a great deal of the revenue our localities rely upon. These locally-owned and operated businesses deliver the highest quality products while maintaining their competitive edge and striving for continued innovation. 

However, many small businesses – and the future of upstate New York’s economic sustainability – are threatened by Albany’s out-of-touch priorities. My vision for small businesses since first coming to Albany has not changed: keeping our local, hardworking job creators here while attracting new employers to our region.

Throughout the 107th Assembly district, I continue to see why our local business base is so vital to our residents. I have met so many people who support their families by working for a small business in their community. These area job creators are essential to fostering the prosperity and maintaining the sustainability families in our communities need. However, just like thousands of small businesses in New YorkState, upstate employers are feeling the pinch from years of big government and high taxes.

The escalating taxes, bureaucratic red tape, excessive regulations and unfunded state mandates have made the cost of doing business untenable for many. Simply put, our small businesses, the backbone of our economy, are not able to hire more people while staring down increasing taxes and fees. Tax hikes are proven, time and again, to have a substantial, sustained and highly negative impact on the economy.

Albany needs to understand the value local job creators have throughout our communities, and lawmakers must stop causing the exodus of our businesses, while still attracting new investors. A healthy private sector is essential in helping to straighten out our state’s current fiscal mess and set the stage for future economic growth.

Faced with long-term fiscal instability, New York has relentlessly taxed businesses to the point of bankruptcy. New York ranks last in business climate, with a tax rate high above the national average. Rampant spending has far outpaced inflation in recent years, resulting in massive deficits and a financial mess. We need to reevaluate the wide and ever-growing burden placed on our local businesses.

I’m eager to continue working with my colleagues to pass meaningful reforms that will attract new and sustainable businesses to our area. Assembly bill 6026, which has support on both sides of the aisle, would allow for the strengthening of local economies, enhancement of existing community hubs, reduction of the tax burden, and improvement of the overall quality of life through tax credits for job creators who will work to attract viable economic opportunities. These tax credits will allow job creators to facilitate an increased tax base, create new jobs, and promote underutilized, existing infrastructure and transportation centers.

Despite advertisements to the contrary, New York has a long way to go to truly be “Open for Business.” We need to make New York a state that businesses and workers travel to, not from. Reforming our tax code and the restrictions we place on business owners across the state can and should be the beginning of the conversation to really make New York open for business. 

Assemblyman McLaughlin represents the 107th district, which consists of parts of Rensselaer, Columbia and Washington counties. For more information, please visit Assemblyman McLaughlin’s official website.


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Steve McLaughlin for Assembly