Albany (August 23, 2012) – The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) today said that Governor Cuomo should set the record straight on whether he favors repealing a law that lets public unions keep their current contracts long after they expire.
“There’s a rumor swirling around Albany this morning that Governor Cuomo has assured labor leaders that he won’t push to repeal the Triborough Amendment, which gives unions a massive advantage over taxpayers,” said NFIB State Director Mike Durant. “That would be very disappointing and we certainly hope that it isn’t true.”
Crain’s Business reported this morning, based on an anonymous source, that Governor Cuomo told labor bosses at a recent meeting that he won’t ask the Legislature to repeal a section of the Taylor Law, known as the Triborough Amendment, which allows unions to keep their contracts indefinitely even though they’ve expired. Many municipal and county officials, including New York City Mike Bloomberg, have urged lawmakers to repeal the provision because it removes any incentive for labor groups to bargain in good faith.
“State and local governments all over the country are buckling under the weight of these overly generous labor contracts and New York is no exception,” said Durant. “The Triborough Amendment tips the scale in favor of government unions at the expense of taxpayers and we’ll never get control of local spending as long as it remains in place.”
He noted that the local property tax is the biggest tax burden for most small businesses in New York.
“Giving local officials more flexibility to negotiate a better deal for taxpayers is the key to making New York more affordable for businesses and families,” said Durant. “I’m sure that the Governor understands that and I would doubt very highly that he has closed the door on repealing the Triborough Amendment.”
Durant urged Cuomo to clarify his position so that small businesses and property owners know exactly where he stands on the issue.
“He shouldn’t let this rumor persist because the issue is too important,” said Durant. “The Governor should make it clear that the law has to change with the times. Small businesses are struggling. Middle class families are struggling. And local governments are struggling to provide basic services.
“Mandate relief is the key to long-term tax relief,” he continued. “The Governor is very popular and he has the power to press this debate. He’s hasn’t been afraid to take on the tough issues and we expect him to lead on this issue as well.”
For more information about NFIB, please visit www.nfib.com/new-york.