BY MICHAEL CAHILL
Last week, State Senator David Carlucci announced a new five point economic plan, which he hopes will put New Yorkers back to work.
The plan’s five points focus on creating an environment in New York that eases the tax and regulatory burden on small businesses, as well as providing incentives for employers to hire veterans and long term unemployed New Yorkers.
“My goal is to have the lowest unemployment rate in the nation,” said Carlucci. “We want to have a strong, solid economy where people can excel.”
According to the August 2012 statistics, the statewide unemployment rate in New York is 9.1 percent, higher than the national average. One point of Carlucci’s plan centers around regulation for businesses in New York. Carlucci cited the NY dairy industry as an example regulation in need of reform.
Currently the NY dairy industry is experiencing a boom because of the high demand for Greek yogurt, but that boom is threatened because farmers with cowherds larger than 199 must get an expensive Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) permit.
This makes growth for small farms uninviting. Carlucci is among a group of lawmakers currently working to liberalize those regulations.
Carlucci’s plan is also seeking to lower the small business tax rate from 6.5 percent to 5.2 percent. He says that the cut effectively reduces the tax burden on small businesses by 20 percent. The plan also reaffirms his commitment to completely eliminating the MTA payroll tax in Rockland.
Unemployed New Yorkers will also get a boost from the plan. An enhanced tax credit of up to $10,000 would be offered to businesses that hire returning, unemployed veterans. A second tax credit of $1,000 tax would also be provided to businesses that hire long term unemployed workers, that is people who have been unemployed longer than 60 days.
Carlucci says his plan is a comprehensive approach to getting New Yorkers back to work and will bring back some of that entrepreneurial spirit to the state. “if you have a dream then you want to come to New York to have it flourish,” he said.
But as November 6 approaches, will it be enough for the state Senate’s youngest member to earn another term? Since announcing his plan, his competitor Republican Janis Castaldi, who is running for his seat this election season has criticized the feasibility of the plan and attacked Carlucci’s record in the Senate.
“Mr. Carlucci’s plan is as hollow as his string of broken promises,” said Michael Knowles, spokesman for the Castaldi campaign. “True to form, he proposes cutting taxes without cutting spending, addressing long term liabilities, or addressing unfunded mandates.”
Carlucci responded to these criticisms by pointing to his record in the Senate. “Records speak for themselves,” he said.
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