Tax Report: New York Ranks Dead Last For Business

October 9, 2012 at 4:22 pm (Andrew Cuomo, Business, Business-Friendly, Economy, Governor Cuomo, New York, NY Works, Open For Business, Tax, Tom DiNapoli)

While the Cuomo administration has experienced what some would call an historic term in office, one aspect contributing to that description has been the Governor’s insistence that New York is open for business, promoting a new business-friendly atmosphere in the Empire state.

Just a few months ago, the governor had this to say about conducting business in New York:

“The focus of the administration has always been and will continue to be making New York work to help create jobs and grow businesses in every region of the state.  In the spirit of entrepreneurial government and through our New York Works initiatives, we have positioned the state as a partner to the private sector to encourage billions of dollars of new investment in nanotechnology and other growth industries.”

It was less than a year ago that Cuomo launched a new marketing initiative called, “New York Open For Business”, which according to a press release, had the following aim:

In recent years, businesses have left the state in record numbers and job losses have devastated local communities, giving New York the image of having one of the worst business climates in the nation. The goal of the “New York Open for Business” initiative is to promote the many assets of investing in New York so the state can regain its reputation as a business-friendly location.

Sad news to report today however, indicating that it doesn’t matter if you open your doors to business, if nobody wants to go inside and buy anything.

Via Capitol Confidential:

This is interesting in light of today’s scheduled events, which include an update on Wall Street’s contribution to the state economy by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and a NY Works meeting which is part of a Cuomo initiative to rebuild the state’s economy.

The Tax Foundation which, granted, looks askance at taxes, ranks New York dead last in terms of the business tax climate. They cite not just the income taxes but the state’s property taxes, unemployment taxes (overly complex and saddled with surcharges, they say) and overall complexity.

Here’s what they said:

Despite moderate corporate taxes, New York scores at the bottom this year by having the worst individual income tax, the sixth-worst unemployment insurance taxes, and the sixth-worst property taxes. The states in the bottom 10 suffer from the same afflictions: complex, non-neutral taxes with comparatively high rates.

Read the full report here.

Here is how the rest of the United States stacks up.

This of course, comes on the heels of a summertime report in which the Empire state was ranked dead last in business friendliness, and saw rankings drop in several other categories such as Quality of Life, Economy, Access to Capital, Cost of Living, and Infrastructure & Transportation.

As it stands now, doing business in New York under the Cuomo administration is an historically bad idea.

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Long: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. & Senator Gillibrand Should Meet the Laid off Workers of Sikorsky and Big Flats

October 3, 2012 at 7:00 am (Andrew Cuomo, Big Flats, Hydrofracking, Kirsten Gillibrand, New York, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Sikorsky, Wendy Long)

Why are liberals like Kennedy and Gillibrand killing hydrofracking and consigning the future of upstate to oblivion?

In the wake of reports that the Cuomo administration is “consigning fracking to oblivion,” U.S. Senate candidate Wendy Long challenged Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Senator Gillibrand to visit with the laid off workers of Sikorsky and tell them where their next job will come from.

“Unelected, un-appointed and even unregistered celebrity lobbyists like Robert Kennedy Jr., should visit the people of Big Flats and the Southern Tier and tell them why he opposes their economic future and freedom,” said U.S. Senate candidate Wendy Long.

According to a report by the New York Times the decision to shelve hydrofracking comes after “the governor has been influenced by the unshakable opposition from a corps of environmentalists and celebrity activists who are concerned about the safety of the water supply. The opponents include a number of people close to the governor, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a longtime environmental activist in New York whose sister is the governor’s ex-wife.”

Long said, “Clearly, the Kennedy-Gillibrand liberal establishment doesn’t care about the future of upstate New York but I believe Governor Cuomo does, that’s why I’m urging him to move forward with hydrofracking now.  We need the jobs and the energy, and the growth of industry and manufacturing now — not next month, not next year, not next decade.”

It’s ironic, in 1968 after touring Appalachia Robert F. Kennedy said, “I run for the presidency because I have seen proud men in the hills of Appalachia, who wish only to work in dignity, but they cannot, for the mines are closed and their jobs are gone and no one – neither industry, nor labor, nor government – has cared enough to help.”

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Banner Weekend For NY Democrats – One Punished For Sexual Harassment, Another Announces They’ll Be Arrested

August 27, 2012 at 7:00 am (Andrew Cuomo, Brooklyn, Democrats, Ethics, Governor Cuomo, Grants, Harassment, New York, New York City, Non-Profit, Queens, Sexual Harassment, Sheldon Silver, Shirley Huntley, Taxpayer Money, Vito Lopez)

It’s been a very active weekend for Democrats, with a pair serving in the boroughs of New York City being part of some very rare activity over the weekend.

First off, Brooklyn Democrat Assemblyman Vito Lopez has been handed some very severe punishment stemming from what is being called “blatant instances of sexual harassment”.

The Standing Committee on Ethics and Guidance not only stripped him of his Housing Committee chairmanship, and cut off resources and funding from the Assembly, but his guilty actions prompted a ban prohibiting Lopez from hiring interns or any other employees under the age of 21.

That is the equivalent of a sexual predator being kept from that which tempts them.

The letter from Assembly Majority Speaker Sheldon Silver pulls no punches, providing such details as how Lopez harassed one woman forcibly kissing her and putting his “hand as far up between her legs as you could go”.  He also forced two women to continuously write to him about how much they loved their jobs and cared about him.

Here is a copy of the letter:
Vito Lopez Letter 8-24-12

Lopez has left a long trail of slime in Brooklyn, with rumors that other charges may be coming down the pike.  He has been the subject of multiple federal investigations as well as blatant instances of extreme cronyism.

Several Democrats have pushed for Lopez to resign as a result of these egregious charges, with the most damning perhaps being from the governor of New York himself.  Andrew Cuomo on Sunday joined a growing list of elected officials calling on Lopez to step down.

Next up on the list of corruptocrats from southern New York, is Sen. Shirley Huntley from Queens, who took the rare step of announcing her own impending arrest on Monday.

Huntley held an “emergency press conference” over the weekend to announce that she expects to be arrested on Monday.

She did not indicate what charges may be involved, though four employees of hers had been arrested last year based on an investigation of a non-profit organization in which Huntley had steered tax-payer funds.  The four who were indicted included a top aide and a niece of Huntley’s.

Leave it to city Democrats to get involved in a year’s worth of scandal in one weekend.

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Despite Cuomo’s Claims, New York Ranks As Least Business-Friendly State in the Nation

July 12, 2012 at 7:00 am (Andrew Cuomo, Business, Business-Friendly, Cost of Living, David Paterson, Democrat, Economy, Education, Governor Cuomo, Jobs, New York, Open For Business, Republican, Unemployment)

While the Cuomo administration has experienced what some would call an historic term in office, one aspect contributing to that description has been the Governor’s insistence that New York is open for business, promoting a new business-friendly atmosphere in the Empire state.

Just a few weeks ago, the governor had this to say about conducting business in New York:

“The focus of the administration has always been and will continue to be making New York work to help create jobs and grow businesses in every region of the state.  In the spirit of entrepreneurial government and through our New York Works initiatives, we have positioned the state as a partner to the private sector to encourage billions of dollars of new investment in nanotechnology and other growth industries.”

It was less than a year ago that Cuomo launched a new marketing initiative called, “New York Open For Business”, which according to a press release, had the following aim:

In recent years, businesses have left the state in record numbers and job losses have devastated local communities, giving New York the image of having one of the worst business climates in the nation. The goal of the “New York Open for Business” initiative is to promote the many assets of investing in New York so the state can regain its reputation as a business-friendly location.

Those efforts to regain the state’s reputation as being business-friendly were to involve spending anywhere between $10 and $50 million.

According to a new report from CNBC however, the state has plummeted eight spots overall in a list of America’s Top States For Business 2012.  The list ranks all 50 states in categories they use to sell themselves to businesses.  New York dropped from the previous year’s rankings in 6 of the 10 categories … including business-friendliness.

New York’s rank in that coveted category?  Dead last.

Overall, the Empire state dropped from 26th to the 34th top slot for business.  In the individual categories, New York saw a decline in Quality of Life, Economy, Business-Friendliness, Access to Capital, Cost of Living, and Infrastructure & Transportation.  The latter category seeing the most dramatic loss, going from 14th in the nation to 39th.

The chart comparing 2012 and 2011 results can be seen below…

The numbers are strikingly similar to David Paterson’s term in office in 2009, before he improved them in the 2010 election year.
According to CNBC’s report, the business-friendly numbers have declined in each year since Cuomo’s election in 2010.
The news wasn’t all bad however, as New York ranked first in the nation for Education, and Technology & Innovation.

Curiously, when looking at the overall list, states with Republican governors dominated as having reputations that are considered business-friendly.  According to Human Events:

You’ll also notice similarities between states that rank high on the CNBC list — namely that most of the leadership in those states supports economic policies that mirror the national Republican platform.

Here are the top 20 most-friendly business states according to CNBC:

  1. Texas
  2. Utah
  3. Virginia
  4. North Carolina
  5. North Dakota
  6. Nebraska
  7. South Dakota
  8. Colorado
  9. Georgia
  10. Wyoming
  11. Minnesota
  12. Iowa
  13. Idaho
  14. Indiana
  15. Kansas
  16. Tennessee
  17. Wisconsin
  18. Oregon
  19. New Hampshire
  20. Arkansas

Seven out of the 10 states featured in the top 10 have both Republican governors and legislatures.  By contrast, within the bottom dwellers, six of 10 have Democrat monopolies on state government.

This, after another report showed that every single one of the 17 states that elected a Republican governor in 2010, saw a drop in their unemployment rates.

By contrast, during that same time frame the unemployment rate in New York has climbed.

Looks like Governor Cuomo has some more work to do to reach those sought after historic levels.

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Flags Flown at Half-Staff For Corporal Christopher D. Bordoni

April 10, 2012 at 9:12 am (Afghanistan, Andrew Cuomo, Christoper D. Bordoni, Flags, Governor, Heroes, Marine, New York)

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has directed that flags on state government buildings be flown at half-staff on Tuesday, April 10 in honor of a New York Marine who died on April 3.

Corporal Christopher D. Bordoni died as a result of wounds sustained January 18, 2012, while conducting combat operation in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Corporal Bordoni was from Ithaca.

“I join with all New Yorkers in mourning the loss of Corporal Bordoni,” said Governor Cuomo. “We will forever honor the service and sacrifice of this New York Marine. I send my deepest condolences to his family, friends, and fellow Marines.”

Governor Cuomo has directed that the flags on all state buildings be lowered to half-staff in honor of and in tribute to our state’s service members and those stationed in New York who are killed in action or die in a combat zone.

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Governor Cuomo Accused of ‘Overreaching’ Power Grab

February 19, 2012 at 12:50 pm (Albany, Andrew Cuomo, Assembly, Brooklyn, Budget, Capital, Democrats, Governor Cuomo, Inspector General, James F. Brennan, New York, President Obama, Richard L. Brodsky)

Governor Cuomo seems to be following the path blazed by his colleague in the White House, riding a wave of popularity that he incorrectly perceives as a mandate to consolidate more power in his own hands.  And even Democrats are wary of these dangerous actions…

Via the New York Times:

In his proposed budget for next year, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has inserted language that would allow him to move money between state agencies without legislative approval.
He has included a clause that would allow him to give out some contracts without the customary review of the state comptroller. And he added another provision that some budget experts fear could expand his authority to borrow money for construction projects.
Riding high after a string of successes during his first year in office, Mr. Cuomo is now taking an expansive, and expanding, view of the role of governor, in the name of reining in the state’s sprawling bureaucracy.
But even some of Mr. Cuomo’s fellow Democrats are raising questions about what they view as a power grab. And suddenly a staple of civics class — the notion of checks and balances between different branches of government — is the talk of the Capitol.

One fellow Democrat calls it an overreach:

“I think many of us, including myself, feel that there is overreaching proceeding down the path by our new governor, and that it is ultimately not healthy for there to be excessive power in the executive branch, even though he’s popular,” said Assemblyman James F. Brennan, a Democrat of Brooklyn.

This of course comes on the heels of another power grab yielded by the Governor, in which the entire New York State Inspector General’s Office was granted the authority to snoop into the tax returns of not only the state employee workforce, but anyone they deem to be relevant to an investigation.  At the time, this level of investigative power was being labeled ‘unprecedented’, something even the State Attorney General has not been granted.

Cuomo brushed off any questions regarding this consolidation of powers in the executive branch as “basic competence”.  But another Democrat Assemblyman claims it will undo years of efforts to improve government accountability.

Richard L. Brodsky, a former Democratic assemblyman who wrote legislation to improve accountability of the state’s public authorities, said the provision would undo safeguards that lawmakers had put in place with some difficulty.
“It goes to the heart of the reform efforts that took six years, three governors and two attorneys general to get done, and it’s extremely important,” Mr. Brodsky said.

Read the rest…

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