Our legislative agenda considers the following New York State Issues affecting Niagara County businesses:
Property Tax Cap
Homestead/Non-Homestead Tax Structure
Corporate Tax Structure
Property Tax Cap
The Chamber recognizes that Western New Yorkers are paying some of the highest property taxes in the nation. This tax burden hampers growth and has resulted in a loss of business. Although a property tax cap is an important first step, it must be accompanied by further cost reductions to local governments by the State in order for it to be successful.
Advocate for the repeal of unfunded state mandates and the movement of Medicaid to the State by 2015 (Bill S.5889-B/A.8644).
Support pension reform including the creation of a Tier VI, which would lower future pension costs and not have an adverse effect on current state employees.
Support legislation that identifies needs of communities which adhere to the property tax cap and offers a timeframe for relief from state mandates
The Chamber has had success in getting a commitment from Niagara Falls to reduce the burden on businesses by an equalization of commercial and residential tax rates. The tax structure in Niagara Falls imposes an unfair burden on businesses and discourages economic growth and job creation. The four towns that make up the Niagara Wheatfield School District (Niagara, Lewiston, Wheatfield, and Cambria) use homestead/non-homestead rates for school taxes.
Work with area business leaders to ensure a promised reduction of this tax structure is enforced.
Support a fair and equal distribution of the tax burden.
Continue to pursue reforms on the local and state level to protect residential rate payers from drastic increases in taxes while restraining the growing burden on businesses.
As a business advocacy organization, the Chamber feels that the corporate tax system is too inefficient, too complex, and places too much of a burden on businesses, thereby hurting growth and stymieing economic development. Strategies must be developed to reduce the tax burden and make US companies more competitive globally.
Advocate for a simpler tax policy that is easier to understand and would therefore increase compliance.
Support local federal leaders who seek to ease the burden on manufacturing companies by moving this issue forward.
Work with manufacturers and businesses to highlight this issue to chamber members.