January 18, 2015
Albany, NY

2015 Opportunity Agenda: Restoring Economic Opportunity

2015 Opportunity Agenda: Restoring Economic Opportunity

Re: Small Business Tax Reduction

Date: January 18, 2015


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today presented the sixth part of his "2015 Opportunity Agenda" – a four percent tax reduction for small businesses and a set of new resources for small businesses owners looking to start or grow their businesses.

“Small businesses are the engine of opportunity and we will do everything we can to ensure they thrive and grow in New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “As a key part of our 2015 Opportunity Agenda, we will cut small business taxes to their lowest rate since 1917 and will ensure Empire State is truly open for business.”

A vital part of the New York State economy, Governor Cuomo is committed to helping small businesses thrive in New York. Small businesses account for 43 percent of private sector employment and 35 percent of private sector wages in the State.

Small Business Tax Cut

The Governor’s proposed tax cut would put small business tax rates at their lowest rate ever. It reduces the net income tax rate from the current 6.5 percent to 2.5 percent over a three year period for small businesses that file under the corporate franchise tax. The rate will be reduced to 3.25 percent for tax year 2016, to 2.9 percent for tax year 2017 and to 2.5 percent for subsequent tax years beginning in 2018. This will provide $32 million in new tax relief when fully effective.

For tax year 2015, current law provides a moderately lower corporate franchise tax rate for small businesses than for large ones – 6.5 percent versus 7.1 percent. This small business advantage in tax rates was scheduled to disappear in tax year 2016 when the overall corporate tax rate falls to 6.5 percent, which was part of the Governor’s tax cut package enacted with the 2014-15 State budget. Under the proposal the Governor announced today, small businesses will continue to have significantly lower tax rates than large business, and their rates will fall to the lowest rates 1917 when this particular tax came into existence.

For the purpose of this tax cut, the definition of “small business” is a business with less than 100 employees and having a net income less than $390,000. To avoid a “cliff” and stay consistent with how the dual rates are treated under current law, the lower tax rates would be available to small businesses having below $290,000 in net income, and the rate is phased up to the standard rate applicable to businesses with net income of $390,000 or more.

Tax Year 2016Tax Year 2017Tax Year 2018
(Current is 6.5%)
Value of tax cuts$26M$29M$32M
Number of taxpayers benefitting42,00042,00042,000

The tax cuts will be included in the Governor’s 2015-2016 Executive Budget.

NY Business Express

Governor Cuomo also announced the creation of NY Business Express, a one-stop shop to help small businesses get started and grow. The program will offer a game-changing approach to small business growth and an innovative way of cutting red tape, further demonstrating that New York is open for business.

Today, businesses that require multiple licenses and permits to operate in New York must navigate a labyrinth of state agencies, and about 70 percent of the information requested is duplicative between the various agencies involved. This creates a confusing and uncoordinated process for the applicants and results in duplicative work and record-keeping for state agencies.

To simplify this experience dramatically, New York will create:

  • A single, user-friendly online portal for all business and occupational licensing activities, including a new Consolidated Business Application and access to incentives and other support services;
  • A single phone number for all questions and support services; and
  • A single cross-agency business formation and license processing team.

Applicants will input their basic information once, driven by a simple user interface that guides individuals through the process step-by-step. "How-to" videos, an incentive finder, click-to-chat, and a single phone number will allow businesses to access the help and information they need without confusion or delay.

NY Business Express will also help reduce the duplication and confusion between state and local government licensing activities. For example, a county might use the NYBE portal to make its own information available and potentially leverage the state's Consolidated Business Application. This could mean that if an entrepreneur wants to open a new restaurant in Buffalo, he or she will need to go to only one website to start the process.

NYBE will complement and leverage the State's ongoing efforts to reduce cycle times for individual licenses and permits by creating simpler forms and reducing processing steps.

NYBE will provide a single point of contact for businesses to help navigate regulatory requirements as well as support services and other technical assistance resources. These services may be delivered online, by phone or in person through a variety of entities, including state and local government agencies, FuzeHub, and the 24 Small Business Development Centers across the New York State.

New York State Chief Small Business Officer

In recognition of the importance of New York’s small business sector, Governor Cuomo will appoint the State’s first Chief Small Business Officer. This position will be responsible for inter-agency coordination of all existing and new policies that impact creation and growth of New York small businesses.

Small Business Summit

Summits allow stakeholders from industry and government to come together to identify challenges and opportunities facing a specific sector and map out a path for government to provide needed assistance and help create jobs and grow investment.

To build on this successful model, Governor Cuomo will host a Small Business Summit that cuts across different industry sectors to focus on issues and opportunities similar to the typical small business proprietor. The Summit will bring together small business owners, financial institutions, support industries, and government stakeholders to help facilitate access to capital, reduce regulatory barriers, and grow employment and investment at our smallest – but most critical – places of business.

Contact the Governor's Press Office

Albany Press Office: 518.474.8418

NYC Press Office: 212.681.4640