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Mr. Porath is the Executive Director of Rockland Industrial Development Agency (IDA). The
Rockland IDA is a public benefit corporation created to actively promote, attract, encourage and
develop economically sound commerce and industry within the County of Rockland for the
purpose of preventing unemployment and economic deterioration and to further advance the job
opportunities, general prosperity, and economic welfare of the people of the County of Rockland.
Implement redevelopment zones to provide small businesses with access to tax incentives.
Local municipalities should define redevelopment zones to provide small businesses with
access to tax incentives that larger businesses are able to take advantage of through IDAs.
If a business, regardless of size, resides within the specified zone and meets certain pre-
established criteria in terms of job creation, investment, and other criteria defined locally,
it would be able to access certain tax incentives. These tax incentives could be in the
form of property tax abatement, sales tax exemption on capital improvements, and
exemptions on financing and mortgage recording taxes. While large businesses are
familiar with these incentives, small businesses do not have access to them. Rather than
having a small business attempt to go through the IDA process, communities should
design redevelopment zones so that smaller businesses can take advantage of the same
tax incentives. Opening the door to some of these incentives for small businesses is
crucial to communities like Rockland County.
IDAs should be prohibited from having the ability to impose PILOT agreements on local
taxing entities. In most of New York State, real property tax exemptions granted by an
IDA are recaptured via payments-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOTs) made by recipients of IDA
benefits to affected taxing jurisdictions like local governments of towns, villages,
counties, and school districts. The majority of county IDAs have the ability to impose
PILOT agreements on local taxing entities on their own. Rockland County is one of two
IDAs throughout the state that does not have the legal right to impose PILOT agreements
on local taxing entities. This unique structure is beneficial to the Rockland County IDA
because it is able to work together with all of the local taxing entities to reach deals that
make sense for everyone involved. This structure allows continuity and unified
agreement instead of the challenges faced by IDAs in other counties due to disputes
between IDAs and local governments.
Mr. Calvin is the President of the New York Association of Convenience Stores (NYACS).
NYACS is a member-driven organization that leads, safeguards, and forges a favorable
environment for New York State's diverse, dynamic community of neighborhood convenience
stores. NYACS provides return on membership investment by continuously delivering vital
knowledge, a unified voice on legislative and regulatory issues, access to business solutions, and
ways for members to share ideas, address common challenges, and build relationships.
Create a law that penalizes minors for underage possession of tobacco. Currently, there
are only ramifications for retail stores that sell tobacco to minors. Retailers face fines,
license suspension, and jail time for this offense. There should also be a law for minors
who possess and use tobacco in New York State.
Prohibit local governments from passing tobacco retailing regulations. Currently,
members of county legislatures are proposing local laws that prohibit pharmacies from
selling tobacco. These laws define a pharmacy as any retail establishment that sells
prescription or over-the-counter drugs. This would include any convenience store that
carries Advil. It is problematic that state law permits local governments to pass tobacco
regulations that are more restrictive than state regulations.
Supports S.3463 (Gallivan)/A.7107 (Crespo) which amends Public Health Law § 1399-cc
to require the State Liquor Authority to timely notify an employer of alleged undercover
illegal alcohol sales involving their employee. The State Liquor Authority does not
inform employers of alleged undercover illegal alcohol sales involving their employees in
a timely fashion. The State Liquor Authority often lets the offending employee stay on
the job for months, giving retailers notice of the sale six to ten months after its
occurrence. This untimely notice denies business owners the chance to immediately
remove the offending employee and knowingly exposes the community to the risk of
subsequent underage sales by that same employee during the intervening period. The
proposed change in Public Health Law § 1399-cc requires the State Liquor Authority to
notify an employer within ten days of the sting operation.
Supports S.3493 (Gallivan)/A.7107 (Crespo) to amend Public Health Law § 1399-cc and
Alcoholic Beverage Control Law § 65 to require all individuals wishing to purchase
alcohol or tobacco at off-premise establishments to present a valid photo ID regardless
of age. New York State law currently requires retailers to ID a tobacco customer who
appears to be under the age of twenty five and a beer customer who appears to be under
the age of twenty one. This is problematic because it is difficult to discern a customer’s
age and properly trained cashiers may mistakenly sell to minors. The law jeopardizes
public health and safety while subjecting businesses to harsh penalties. This law would
eliminate the guesswork and require employees to ID all customers. Businesses that have
voluntarily adopted this requirement as store policy have lost business because older
customers get annoyed and instead go across the street to a store without a mandatory ID
policy. A statewide law that requires the identification of all customers is the solution.
Require the Department of Labor to give advanced notice to employers regarding the
increase in minimum wage. The Department of Labor should notify employers of the
three-step increase in the state minimum wage in a timely manner. The first increase
occurs on January 1, 2014 when the minimum wage increases to $8.00 an hour. This also
increases the uniform allowance, meal allowance, and minimum weekly salary that are
statutorily triggered by a minimum wage hike. The Department of Labor should give
small businesses advanced notice of these changes so that they can compile their
operating budgets for 2014. Last time the minimum wage was increased, the Department
of Labor did not issue a notice to employers until the exact day the increase took effect.
Repeal the annual wage notification requirement under Labor Law § 195(1). Employers
are required to annually present their employees with a piece of paper confirming their
job title, pay rate, and other pay information that is already furnished on the employee’s
weekly or bi-weekly paystub. This requirement is silly, wasteful, and an example of
senseless regulation. It should be repealed.
Supports A.1545 (Gunther) which modifies Tax Law § 1607(h) to eliminate the
requirement that a retailer’s lottery license be suspended if its tobacco license has been
suspended for an underage sale. This unfairly subjects tobacco retailers that sell lottery
tickets to harsher punishments than those retailers that do not sell lottery tickets. Further,
this law is based on the unfounded presumption that because a retailer sold tobacco to a
minor the store will also sell lottery tickets to a minor. This law is unfair and lottery
licensure should be removed from underage tobacco enforcement. The proposed
amendment provides the Division of the Lottery with discretion to suspend or revoke the
lottery license of a retailer for tobacco violations.
Decrease mandatory retail signage. New York State law requires that retailers display
signs warning of the dangers of tobacco products, stating that no one under the age of
twenty one can buy beer, warning pregnant women not to consume alcohol, advising
consumers how to redeem deposit containers, advising consumers of the store’s refund
policy and policy on bad checks, disclosing the highest and lowest price of each grade of
fuel, and displaying the store’s tobacco registration, lottery license, food service license,
beer license, and sales tax certificate of authority. It does not make sense to require
retailers to display all of these signs and it is burdensome on the business owner.
Hold retailers to the same standards as their Native American competitors. Despite the
fact that Native American retailers sell billions of dollars worth of cigarettes and motor
fuel, they are not held to the same standards as New York State retailers. These
competitors are not required to obtain licenses, collect and remit state and local taxes, or
undergo audits and inspections. This bestows special privileges and competitive
advantages upon Native American competitors and is unfair to state retailers.
Opposed to the expansion of the New York State Returnable Container Act. This Act
should not be expanded to apply to juice, iced tea, sports drinks, and flavored water. This
would leave retailers with the mess of redemption and the storage of empty containers.
Opposed to mandatory paid sick leave on private sector employers who cannot afford it.
Opposed to laws that prohibit retailers from determining whether an applicant for a
cashier job has any past criminal convictions until after conditionally offering the
applicant a job.
Opposed to laws that would require gas pumps to display the phone number of the
Attorney General’s office so that frustrated consumers can call and complain about gas
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