Awaiting lawmakers upon their return to Albany this week for the remaining six weeks of the legislative session is a list of priorities and pain points for small employers issued by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). New York’s leading small business advocacy organization will make several of these issues the main focus of Small Business Advocacy Day which they are hosting at the capitol on May 17th.
“Fortunately the state budget process failed to harm small employers, and we saw progress towards reining in workers’ compensation costs. However, the mission is far from accomplished and considerable work remains in a variety of areas,” according to NFIB New York State Director, Mike Durant. “The Senate demonstrated leadership on reforms to the workers’ compensation program to ensure a reduction of costs on employers, and we remain hopeful that lawmakers in both houses will continue to prioritize small employers throughout the remainder of session.”
Among the top NFIB priorities in the homestretch includes opposing the expansion of prevailing wage. Efforts to expand the definition of public work and/or increase prevailing wage rates will be strongly opposed by NFIB/NY.
“New York state, its local governments and public authorities are committed to spending tens of billions of dollars on public works in the next five to 10 years,” wrote the Empire Center for Public Policy’s research director, E.J. McMahon, in the New York Post recently. “But under current law, they’re also committed to wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on public works — to subsidize the above-market compensation of the state’s shrinking but politically influential construction unions.”
According to Durant, Main Street continues to face considerable uncertainty thanks to the long lead times built into the legislation instituting policies that were previously approved.
“Employers are already mired in red-tape and regulatory confusion that take time and resources away from what they do best, run their business. Adding to administrative costs and burdens will only worsen the state’s business climate and slow job creation. Now is not the time for the legislature to rest on their laurels. Small employers are still facing considerable hurdles and positive action over the next six weeks will go a long way to restoring confidence and boosting the vitality of small businesses in New York,” said Durant.
In addition to opposing prevailing wage expansion during the remaining six weeks of the legislative session, NFIB/NY intends to focus their advocacy efforts on the following four issues:
*Enact Small Business Tax Cuts ( S2120) – This legislation would reduce the tax burden for small employers paying business taxes through their personal income tax. The cuts would increase the tax exemption from 5 percent to 15 percent for small business owners with incomes at or below $500,000 and business income less than $1.5 million. Additionally, it would reduce the corporate tax rate for small businesses paying via the corporate tax with an income at or below $500,000 from 6.5 percent to 2.5 percent.
*Paid Leave/UI Fix (S905) – Legislation which will provide necessary clarity for small businesses as the mandated paid leave program is implemented. Bill would prohibit an employer’s unemployment insurance experience rating from being impacted as a result of the utilization of replacement workers when a permanent employee goes on extended paid leave.
*Predictive Scheduling Mandates – NFIB will oppose new restrictions on the use of “on-call scheduling” by small business.
*State Sponsored Retirement Mandate (S4344/A4982) – Legislation would establish a mandated payroll deduction savings retirement plan. A 2016 NFIB/NY member ballot on this issue indicated approximately 86 percent of responding members opposed this mandate. This legislation will increase administrative and regulatory burdens that small employers are facing at an increasing rate in New York.