A new era for upstate New York?

By Matt Porter

October 7, 2013 Updated Oct 8, 2013 at 8:27 AM EST

Kirkwood, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Southern Tier business leaders gathered together with Unshackle Upstate, a tax-relief advocacy group, to call on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to pull back on taxes they said are too restrictive.

The plan, known as "New ERA for upstate New York," proposes to reduce or eliminate several state taxes, including income and sales taxes.

The group wants to reduce the state income tax by 25 percent for upstate people making less than $50,000 annually.

They also want to eliminate the Corporate Franchise Tax (9-A) in a four-year phase out where it will be reduced by 25 percent each year, reduce the sales tax by 50 percent for targeted upstate communities, and eliminate the 18a energy assessment for upstate manufacturers.

Unshackle Upstate estimates the cost of the reductions will be $860 million for 2014.

Brian Sampson, executive director for Unshackle Upstate, said the increase in investment will help make up for the loss in revenue.

"We need to have different policies in place to help our businesses compete and to help our taxpayers be able to afford to stay here in New York," Sampson said. "The plan we're advancing gives that broad based tax relief."

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano , R-Corning, said New York can't wait for relief any longer.

"And we have to be aggressive if we're going to encourage private sector investment which will foster job creation and economic activity," Palmesano said. "It will bring the revenue we need to provide for our important programs such as education."

The group also encouraged New York to bring high-volume hydraulic fracturing to the Marcellus Shale as soon as possible.