Your countywide chamber of commerce has released its first 2015 Legislative Priorities booklet, giving residents, business owners and elected officials an opportunity to review the issues of greatest concern in a concise, clear format. We believe this will help achieve quicker resolutions to the pressing needs affecting the economic prosperity of Putnam County.
The booklet is divided into several sections, providing background plus detailing of issues at the county, state and federal levels. Highlights of county legislative concerns include the need for a Master Plan, continued simplification of the approvals/disapprovals processes, reduction of the county sales tax to a more competitive level (Putnam’s taxes are higher than most surrounding counties) and a renegotiation of the Watershed Agreement with New York City that places onerous regulations limiting the uses of much of our county’s available land.
On a state level, fiscal reform continues to be a lead issue, with laws such as the Scaffold and Wicks laws needing to be repealed and other measures improved in order to provide proper safeguards for workers while removing needless impediments to getting the work done efficiently and cost effectively. Health Care remains a concern because of state mandates in conjunction with the Affordable Care Act, as does the expensive 18-a surcharge on energy bills which is a major deterrent to manufacturers and other large businesses locating in the region. Economic Development issues abound, mainly centered on the use of IDAs, however there remains strong support for the Economic Development Council model which is a hallmark of Governor Cuomo’s administration.
At the Federal level, the Affordable Care Act continues to burden small business, and we are committed to minimizing any negative effects while helping entrepreneurs and employees get access to the best health care possible.
The release of this booklet is a huge step forward for the business community. The system only works if we are communicative and watchful with the officials we elect. We look to the business community to be involved. For more information contact the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce President/CEO Bill Nulk at (845) 228-8595 or for a copy of our 2015 Legislative Priorities Booklet by clicking HERE.