Lawmakers from Rockland County want the final budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year, which starts April 1, to eliminate income tax for manufacturers. Gov. Andrew Cuomo included the manufacturing tax cut in his budget proposal in January, but only for upstate counties. The Lower Hudson Valley is not considered part of upstate.
“Rockland County has lost several manufacturing companies over the past few years including Pfizer and Novartis,” Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski, D-New City, said in a statement. “Rockland deserves to be included in this proposal so that we can attract new businesses to these sites and spur additional growth around the County. Growing the economy and creating jobs needs to be a statewide goal, not limited to one region.”
Lawmakers and the governor are negotiating the budget and have until the end of the month to finalize it.
Assembly members Ellen Jaffee, D-Suffern, and James Skoufis, D-Woodbury, Orange County, are also pushing for the manufacturing tax cut to apply to the region.
Jaffee said it would be “discriminatory” for the tax cuts only to apply to upstate manufacturers. Upstate is defined as north of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority region, whose Hudson Valley counties include Putnam, R0ckland, Westchester, Orange and Dutchess.
“The Governor’s proposed tax cut is an economic magnet that will exert a strong pull on companies whose bottom line will determine if they set up shop in Rockland or upstate,” Jaffee said in a statement. “We have communicated our concerns to the Governor, the Speaker, members of the Assembly and the Senate. As we continue to push for Rockland’s inclusion we will be loud and clear: If New York is truly open for business, growing manufacturing jobs and the economy, must be a statewide goal.”
Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor, R-Fishkill, and town officials from his district also called for expanding the cuts to include manufacturers in the MTA region.
The Assembly’s budget proposal would extend the tax elimination to Dutchess and Orange counties, and the Senate’s would eliminate it across New York.
(Journal News file photo of the Novartis pharmaceutical plant in Suffern, which recently announced it would close by 2017.)