Unshackle Upstate


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An introduction to Unshackle Upstate, a strong and growing coalition dedicated to making changes in New York State government that will enhance the Upstate New York economy and create jobs.

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Unshackle Upstate

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  2. 2. 2<br />What is Unshackle Upstate?<br />A grassroots call to action seeking legislative reform in Albany<br />Combines Chambers of Commerce, trade associations and individual businesses under one umbrella<br />Unified voice for Upstate New York revival<br />
  3. 3. 3<br />Growing the Coalition<br />From a party of two, we have grown to 75 organizations representing over 45,000 businesses that employ some 1.5 million Upstate residents<br />Unshackle Upstate is led by our Executive Director and the CEOs of the major metropolitan chambers of commerce – Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Binghamton, and Plattsburgh<br />
  4. 4. An Overwhelming Burden<br />Tax Freedom Day <br />Day when you have earned enough money to pay off total tax bill for the year. In 2008, that day was April 25th, 3rd highest in the nation (CT and NJ)<br />New York&apos;s State/Local Tax Burden Second-Highest in Nation<br />New York has ranked first or second every year since 1977<br />New York&apos;s 2009 Business Tax Climate Ranks 49th<br />Corporate taxes, individual income taxes, sales taxes, unemployment insurance taxes, and taxes on property <br />New York Property Taxes among Nation&apos;s Highest <br />According to the State Comptroller, property tax burdens in New York are 49% higher than the national average <br />Upstate had nine of the top 10 highest county property tax rates in the nation as a share of home value<br />Source: The Tax Foundation<br />
  5. 5. Unshackle Upstate Successes<br />Raised awareness in Albany through lobbying and personal communication. Our Leadership has been engaged in talks on budget and legislative issues<br />Over 400,000 messages sent to elected officials<br />Reforms achieved:<br />Workers’ Compensation (general savings of 20%, still work to be done) <br />Brownfield Redevelopment <br />NYPA rate increase<br />Played defense and blocked legislation related to:<br />Public Pensions – enhancements to drive up property taxes<br />Mandates on Paid Family Leave (payroll tax to cover expense)<br />Limitations for Industrial Development Agencies (prev./living wage provisions)<br />Partners have been at the table negotiating the new Empire Zone rules<br />Need tool to retain existing business and attract new ones<br />Temporary Medicaid Reform Commission<br />State program must come down to national service levels<br />5<br />
  6. 6. 2009<br />Enacted Budget is a Disaster:<br />Taxpayers and businesses disgusted<br />
  7. 7. What the Legislature Approved<br />$131.8 B<br />$121 B<br />
  8. 8. How They Did It<br />Old-Fashioned NYS Legislative Magic<br />$7B in Federal stimulus<br />$8B in new Fees<br />
  9. 9. Key Budget Increases<br />$8B new fees and taxes<br />What impacts you?<br />PIT ($4B per year, 3 years total):<br />$200K or more = up 14%<br />$250K married head of household<br />$500K and up = increased 31%<br />$525M increase in utility assessments (2%)<br />Over $700M tied to health insurance (10-20%)<br />New fees for drivers license, registration, beer/wine, etc.<br />Cumulative Impact: $1,300/$1,950 per family of 4<br />
  10. 10. Special Session 2009<br />Unshackle Proposed Cuts<br />
  11. 11. Immediate Cuts<br />3% cut in state operations $2.2B<br />Cuts cannot be passed on to local gov’t<br />Cuts cannot be shifted to fed. stim. $$$<br />Areas to be cut determined by the legislature<br />State payroll lag $700M<br />State furlough $840M<br />
  12. 12. Double Standard<br />
  13. 13. Longer Term Cuts (in Billions)<br />Consolidation of State Agencies $250M<br />Medicaid Pers. Serv. to Nat’l level $600M <br />School Funding Flat for 2010-11 $2.2B<br />No Member Items $200M<br />Stronger action to prevent Medicaid Fraud $2.2B<br />
  14. 14.
  15. 15. Repeals<br />18A Energy Assessment $525M<br />Health Insurance $640M<br />Others: SBC, RES, EEPS $1.46B<br />Total Savings to NYS $7.19B<br />
  16. 16. Additional Issues for Long-Term Savings<br />Tier 5<br />Defined Contribution <br />Property Tax Cap<br />Creation of a Medicaid Commission <br />Put the experts at the table and let them determine the services that NY should provide as well as the level of service and the delivery method.<br />Suozzi Commission report to bill form for debate<br />The cost saving measures from this report must be debated and implement those that reduce the out year burden <br />Lundine Commission report to bill form for debate<br />Consolidation efforts must be more than the bill that passed the legislature and was signed by the Governor<br />School consolidation<br />
  17. 17. Keys to Success: Changing the Game<br />Created statewide agreement on principles<br />Town Hall meetings<br />Social media outreach/fundraising plan<br />
  18. 18. Keys to Success: Changing the Game, con’t.<br />Political strategy<br />Educate taxpayers<br />PDF on budget vote<br />Report cards<br />Candidate school<br />GOTV<br />Targeted races<br />Paid media for candidates<br />Taxpayers do what Labor does<br />
  19. 19. Our Request of You<br />Get engaged<br />Stop watching from the sidelines<br />Call to Action<br />Help gather support by spreading our message<br />Ask your Legislator what they are doing to cut excessive costs in NYS?<br />Talk up solutions, not just problems<br />Donate to Unshackle Upstate<br />Through the website<br />Visit www.UnshackleUpstate.com<br />
  20. 20. Thank You<br />Q & A<br />