Time to level playing field for all businesses in state

Imagine my delight when I read in the May 23 News the headline, “Unveiling ‘Tax-Free NY.’ ” As a small business owner, whose business has been in New York State for more than 60 years, I thought, “Finally, someone gets it.” The financial burdens of having a business in New York, as opposed to a state that has no sales tax or lower corporate rates, has finally been recognized and will be addressed. And then I read farther. New businesses!

Not those of us who have stuck around for decades, waiting for New York State to catch up with the rest of the country and try to keep small businesses here, rather than watching them move to better business climates. No! Just new businesses! Why? Why not do for the rest of the businesses existing in New York what you propose to do for those starting up (and possibly failing, after receiving all the benefits) when we have proven we can succeed?

I would like to hire someone to learn my business, but the costs of employee benefits and workers’ compensation keep me from doing so. I can just make a living for my family, and pay my taxes. How great it would be to be tax-free. No corporate taxes, no income taxes for me or my worker and, as a senior citizen, I could train someone to take over my business when I decide to retire.

Instead, I get to watch others reap the benefits of Tax-Free NY, while I continue to work nine-hour days and six-day weeks, just to keep ahead of the game. My joy was cut short, my disappointment longer. If New York truly wants to expand its businesses, it must level the playing field for all business, not make new businesses the only ones it wants to succeed.

David R. Battaglia