(Letter sent from RBA President Al Samuels to all RBA members)
Saturday looked like it was going to be a pretty grey day until we got word that New York had its fourth consecutive on-time budget. And, perhaps more importantly, an issue of major concern to Rockland (and our region) had been successfully resolved. For me, that made the skies clear. Governor Cuomo deserves enormous credit: It wasn’t that long ago that I can remember the budget process not being resolved until August.
I applaud the Governor and the legislative leaders for amending a manufacturer’s tax benefit to include all counties. As originally proposed this benefit would have applied only to upstate manufacturers with downstate being defined as the counties in the MTA service area. The Rockland Business Association worked tirelessly over the past three months to insure that this benefit would apply to Rockland and the region. On a personal level, I especially want to extend our thanks to Larry Schwartz and Andrew Kennedy, of the Governor’s staff, for working with us on this issue. Also, our gratitude goes out to Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle for his support and continued friendship. And, a special note of thanks to our own Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski for his leadership and the statesman-like manner in which he addressed this issue.
I also note with great pleasure the accelerated phase-out of the 18-A Utility Surcharge which will save NY businesses and residents $600 million over the next three years and the continued funding of the Governor’s Regional Economic Development Councils.