What's Next for NYS? Nine Contribute to Empire Page Roundtable

Specific Recommendations Offered To Move NYS Forward

ALBANY, NY (08/17/2011)(readMedia)-- Most New Yorkers feel progress was made in solving the state's myriad problems in 2011 under the leadership of governor Andrew Cuomo. Serious issues remain, however, and New York cannot expect much help either from Washington or from the national economy – at least in the short run. What then can and should be done to keep NYS moving forward? That's the question that was presented to a number of experts by the Empire Page – the website that involved New Yorkers rely on for their news.

Mark Alese, former executive director of the NYS chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, argues that "anything less than reducing the costs of doing business to the average of the states with growing economies will not do."

After struggling to maintain a 6th generation agriculture business in NYS, Mark Bitz states that he encouraged his sons to leave the state and that he and his wife will follow. Why? "Years of paying the freight (NYS taxes) for 50 plus other families didn't really bother me until I realized that most of the taxes were enabling entitled lives."

Robert Schwartz, the principal behind the Schwartz Heslin Group, argues we need to focus on the future. He identifies four things that would make a difference, including giving "each employer a 5 year holiday on state unemployment taxes for new incremental hires."

Richard Ottalagano, a Fulton County Supervisor, is not happy with the 2010 results given the tax cap that was imposed by the Legislature did not come with mandate relief.

Brian Sampson, executive director of Unshackle Upstate, outlines his group's proposals which include mandate reform, ending the state's project labor agreement mandate and raising competitive bidding thresholds for local governments.

Doug Boettner, Empire Page columnist, thinks Gov. Cuomo is on the right track, but also offers specific recommendations including zero-based budgets for state agencies.

Paul Bray, a regular Empire Page columnist and an attorney who has worked for the state, argues in favor of intergovernmental collaboration on a regional level.

Linda Petzold, a small business owner, wants to make NYS more attractive to young people and Greg Hitchcock, an Empire Page editor, believes New York can no longer rely on the federal government to solve our problems.

The entire roundtable can be found at http://www.empirepage.com/2011/8/17/what-s-next-for-nys-round-table

In addition to roundtable discussions, the Empire Page publishes interviews with newsmakers and welcomes guest editorials on NYS topics.

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