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New York-June 1…Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino today released a bold, seven-point plan to revive and expand New York State’s economy, particularly upstate regions that have seen substantial population and job losses over the past three decades.

As a two-term Westchester County Executive, Mr. Astorino enacted reforms that spurred more than 44,000 new private sector jobs in his county. Under Governor Kathy Hochul, New York is ranked as having the worst economic outlook among states in America. Mr. Astorino made his jobs plan announcement at a news conference in Buffalo on Wednesday.

“New York has taxed, regulated, and harassed thousands of small and mid-sized businesses right out of the state; even the slightest reforms should encourage robust growth here,” Mr. Astorino said. “But the bold, time-tested ideas I’m proposing would significantly revive New York’s economy, moving our long downward trajectory into an upward arrow again. It doesn’t take a miracle to turn around an economy, it takes vision, discipline, and hard work, and I’ll bring all three to the job as governor.”

Upstate Jobs Plan

1. Tax Relief

New York State is the highest taxed state in the nation. Goal - make New York the most competitive in the Northeast.

Proposal - reduce the current 10 state income tax brackets to just three with lower rates.

Proposal - reduce property taxes by allowing counties to opt out of certain non-mandated Medicaid services and reduce mandates imposed on local governments.

Proposal - eliminate the 2% Gross Receipts Tax on energy and the 18a tax assessment on utility ratepayers.

Proposal - Rein in state spending. New York has two million fewer residents than Florida, yet we have a state budget that is double Florida's.

2. Regulatory Reform

New York State is the most regulated state in the nation with over 750,000 business regulations on the books, many unnecessary and strangling job growth and innovation.

Proposal - Institute a moratorium on any new regulation and a thorough review and cost/benefit analysis of the hundreds of thousands of regulations currently on the books, and the elimination of any regulation deemed high cost with little to no benefit.

Proposal - Reform the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) process by reducing costly delays and redundancies and increasing timeframe predictability.

Proposal - Reduce the number of licenses and fees.

Proposal - Reform the Workers Compensation system to include adopting American Medical Association guidelines and American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine treatment protocols to cut down on costs.

3. Invest in New York's infrastructure

National Transportation Research Nonprofit finds half of major locally or state maintained roads are in poor or mediocre condition and 10% of bridges are rated poor or structurally deficient.

Proposal - Reallocate budget dollars to prioritize spending on New York's roads, bridges, Upstate broadband and other infrastructure needs.

4. Accelerate Energy Development and make low-cost energy a competitive advantage for Upstate NY

The closing of Indian Point, banning of natural gas exploration in the southern tier and cancellation of numerous natural gas projects and pipelines have driven energy costs higher and made energy reliability uncertain.

Proposal - Lift the ban on natural gas exploration and drilling in the Southern Tier. A percentage of gross revenue will be returned directly to taxpayers in participating counties for property tax relief.

Proposal - Lift the bans on natural gas pipelines and natural gas hookups in new construction.

*** Natural gas is not only the cleanest fossil fuel, emitting half the carbons that oil and coal emit, but it is incredibly abundant in the southern tier - Marcellus Shale (13 trillion cubic feet of gas) and the Utica Shale. It would be a boon to the economy (tens of thousands of new jobs Upstate, lower utility rates and billions in new revenue to the state).

Proposal - Explore siting a new nuclear power plant in the North Country, possibly in Massena. It was a big mistake to close Indian Point and the decision was based solely on politics. The people who lived closest to the plant supported it the most, it produced great jobs and safe, reliable and low-cost power that made up 25% of the energy needs of NYC and Westchester. A new plant Upstate could be an economic boon not just for the host community but also the region as a source of safe, reliable and low-cost power, which could help attract manufacturing and high-tech economies (such as crypto mining).

5. Accelerate Technology Start-Up Creation and Grow the Innovation Economy

Manufacturing sector historically has had the best job multiplier effect (1.6 jobs created as a result of 1 manufacturing job being created). Innovation sector has a 5-1 multiplier effect. New York State with its great engineering schools, colleges and universities stands poised to grow the innovation economy with a little assistance.

Proposal - Offer individuals a state income tax credit to encourage private investing in qualified start-up ventures.

Proposal - Streamline the tech-transfer process at state colleges and universities so students and professors can more easily commercialize their inventions.

Proposal - Offer individuals a state income tax credit to encourage private investing in qualified start-up ventures.

Proposal - Streamline the tech-transfer process at state colleges and universities so students and professors can more easily commercialize their inventions.

Proposal - Pass a law that bans the enforceability of “non-compete agreements” – keeping more top talent in New York as it would open up greater opportunities for hi-tech workers and entrepreneurs by eliminating unnecessary restrictions on the flow of talent between companies.

Proposal - Support entrepreneurial networks with technical assistance to encourage collaboration across communities and organizations that support start-ups.

Proposal - Work with local colleges, universities and local businesses and investors to build commercial innovation campuses near local colleges and universities and incentivize recent graduates and other innovators to start their ventures and grow in New York.

6. Increase Availability of Skilled Workers

Proposal - Create regional councils of local educators and employers to help high schools tailor vocational education programs to match the needs and demands of local employers.

Proposal - Make job-training investments directly to community colleges to streamline the training of new workers for local industry needs.

Proposal - Increase coordination between community colleges, local school districts and local industry so students can be properly counseled on the present and future availability of jobs, the types of jobs, their pay and benefits, and the skills needed to do these jobs.

7. Strengthening our Agricultural Heritage and Economy

Proposal - Reduce taxes, fees and regulatory burdens on New York’s family farmers.

Proposal - Eliminate Death Tax.

Proposal - Support a pilot program where beginning farmers receive tax incentives to start a farm in New York State.

Proposal - Restore whole milk to New York’s schools.


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