Making permanent the state cap on increases in property taxes, abolishing the $10,000 federal cap on deductions of state and local taxes, and winning new research equipment for Brookhaven National Laboratory are among the top priorities of Long Island’s largest business group.
The Long Island Association on Tuesday releases its 2019 priorities for governmental action at the federal, state and local levels.
By making public its policy agenda now, the business group hopes to influence negotiations between Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the State Legislature for the 2019-2020 state budget, which is due by the April 1 start of the fiscal year.
“Our No. 1 priority, hands down, is the property tax cap, making it permanent,” LIA president Kevin Law said, referring to a state law that limits to 2 percent the annual increases in property taxes by school districts and other local governments.
The cap, first enacted in 2011 during Cuomo’s first year in office, must be renewed periodically. School districts and teachers’ unions have opposed it.
Last week, Cuomo included making the cap permanent in his proposed state budget, saying the typical homeowner has saved more than $3,200 in the past six years.
In addition, the LIA endorsed efforts by Cuomo and the Legislature to roll back a 2017 federal tax law change that capped the amount of state and local tax deductions at $10,000. The governor has said losing full deductibility equals a 30 percent tax increase for state residents.
Law said the LIA also supports BNL’s bid in a nationwide competition to host an electron-ion collider. He said, “this research machine that would explore the subatomic world would bring a multimillion investment by the federal government to Long Island.”
The LIA also is calling for the establishment of a port where turbines could be manufactured and assembled for offshore wind farms and the production of drones to be used to monitor the farms.
“We think these are opportunities to make Long Island a capital of offshore wind jobs,” Law said.
Included in the LIA’s top 15 priorities is opposing a proposed single-payer health insurance system in the state, which it said “would impose unnecessary or onerous costs” on businesses.
Besides the 15 priorities, which Law said were the most achievable this year, the LIA released 97 “long-term” priorities. These include support for further study of a Long Island Sound bridge or tunnel crossing, more H-1B visas for foreign workers and housing near Long Island Rail Road stations. The group opposes a reinstitution of the commuter tax.
The entire policy agenda was approved last week by the LIA’s 73-member board of directors.
The Long Island Association will lobby to:
* Make permanent the 2% state cap on annual increases in property taxes
* Abolish the $10,000 federal cap on deductions of state and local taxes
* Have Brookhaven National Laboratory selected as home to an electron-ion collider
* Promote development of an offshore wind industry on Long Island
SOURCE: Long Island Association