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Politics and Government

Breakaway Senate Democrats present plan to promote goods made in NYS

Ellen Abbott
WRVO News File Photo
Crucible Steel near Syracuse

Gov. Andrew Cuomo introduced a Made in America proposal in his state budget, but a group of breakaway Democrats in the State Senate has its own idea about promoting goods manufactured in the United States. 

The proposal from the Senate Independent Democratic Conference would incentivize manufacturing through a combination of property tax credits, a branding campaign, a Buy America provision, and the expansion of a central New York apprenticeship program. Dave Valesky (D-Oneida), deputy leader of the IDC, says some of these things overlap with Cuomo’s proposal. He expects parts of both plans could be merged into one by the end of the state budget process.

“Whether it’s all of the specifics of the IDC proposal, whether it’s the governor’s proposal, we have to do a lot more to ensure that American made jobs here in New York state are retained and enhanced. And the budget process is the time to do that,” said Valesky.

New York’s business climate remains one of the worst in the nation, in part because of high taxes and regulations. So IDC leader Jeff Klein (D-Bronx) says for him, one of the most exciting aspects of the IDC plan would mean no property taxes for manufacturers that create jobs.

“The price tag on eliminating property taxes in the state making up for it would be $200 million.  A lot of money, but I think it would go a long way to give incentives to businesses to stay here,” said Klein.

An IDC report notes that manufacturing jobs in New York state continue to dwindle, with central New York losing 400 manufacturing jobs alone from October 2015 to October 2016.