By Tom Precious
ALBANY -- Business groups, which have been supportive of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's first two budgets, are not happy today with the still-to-be-passed 2013 state budget.
In short, they are critical of the budget's failure to repeal a surcharge on energy companies that gets passed onto consumers, for hiking the minimum wage, and for taking no dramatic actions to reduce state-imposed mandates on local governments.
From the Buffalo Niagara Partnership: "We are very disappointed with this budget agreement and with the people who negotiated it. The outcome of their closed-door work not only will further erode the economy of upstate New York, but will also significantly blunt the impact of a number of the agreed-upon priorities in Governor Cuomo's high-profile economic initiatives, including our region's "Buffalo Billion.'' No rhetorical lipstick can gloss over this unfortunate reality. It also confirms to business decision-makers around the world that the state is not yet 'open for business.' "
From the state chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business: "As final negotiations on the state budget have officially concluded, it has become apparent that the momentum to revitalize the state's economy has stalled. Unfortunately our calls to reduce the stifling tax burden, to focus on eliminating assessments on energy use and to reject a devastating increase in labor costs have fallen on deaf ears. It is increasingly clear than an agenda which is eerily similar to our recent past is now the driving force in Albany and it will negate the incremental progress our state made in the past two years. It comes at the expense of small business and the upstate economy.''
From Unshackle Upstate: "Unfortunately, for upstate taxpayers and employers, the new New York looks a lot like the old New York ... This budget is a disappointment. The reality is that New Yorkers will remain over-burdened and over-taxed.''