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Unshackle Upstate unveils 2015 policy agenda

In the coming year, Unshackle Upstate is calling for a permanent 2 percent property tax cap, creation of a $3.5 billion infrastructure bank and other pro-growth measures.

The education and advocacy coalition, which is comprised of business and trade organizations from all parts of Upstate New York, on Wednesday released its policy agenda for 2015.

“A stronger New York starts with a stronger economy. Our 2015 policy agenda lays out numerous measures, both positive and negative, that could impact the taxpayers, employers and the state’s economy,” said Greg Biryla, executive director of Unshackle Upstate. “Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders should embrace pro-growth opportunities while avoiding the pitfalls that would erase the state’s economic progress.”

Highlights of the agenda, which can be found here, include:
•    Making the property tax cap permanent;
•    Investing in New York State’s aging infrastructure;
•    Expanding and extending the Design-Build program; and
•    Expanding and extending the Brownfield Cleanup program.

The organization also is opposed to Thruway toll hike and taxpayer-funded political campaigns.

“Thruway toll payers and hard-working taxpayers are tired of being treated like bottomless ATMs,” Biryla said. “Our organization will continue to take a stand against these senseless proposals.”

Sandra Parker, Rochester Business Alliance Inc. president and CEO and Unshackle Upstate co-founder, applauded the agenda.

“Unshackle Upstate’s 2015 agenda highlights many longstanding issues that have prevented the upstate economy from reaching its full potential,” Parker said. “Enacting the regulatory reforms and broad-based tax relief items, as outlined in the agenda will deliver tremendous benefits to taxpayers and businesses.”

Biryla, who previously served as Unshackle Upstate’s director of development, was named to his new role earlier this month. He succeeds Brian Sampson, who left the organization to take a job with the Empire State Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors.

© 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email rbj@rbj.net.

One comment

  1. When are we going set NYC apart from the rest of the state? The city and the crooked legislature treat upstate with contempt and hamper our efforts to be productive. The helmet law for motorcyclists costs this state about 900 million dollars a year sending touring bikers to the east coast on I 80 that is helmet free and has NO tolls. Not even to mention the bogus biker only “safety stops” to harass bikers by the state police who are paid overtime by the USDOT. Make the Thruway free for motorcycles, repeal the helmet law (32 states have), call off the state police and make MONEY $$$$$! Especially cash strapped motels and businesses on US Route # 20.

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