Chamber Corner – March 13, 2017

Written by
Todd J. Tranum
President & CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce &
Executive Director of the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier

Governor Has It Right on Consolidations, Mergers and Shared Services

Governor Andrew Cuomo has recognized the enormous burden that property taxes place on upstate businesses and homeowners. Since taking office he has proposed, and the Senate and Assembly have approved, a series of initiatives to address our property tax bills. The most significant and at times controversial has been the property tax cap. We endorsed and continue to support the property cap because it is making a difference in improving the cost competitiveness of our region. The property tax cap along with state investment in local efficiency programs, the Citizens Re-Organization and Empowerment Grant and the Citizens Empowerment Tax Credit have helped empower local communities to make the changes necessary to reduce local property tax burdens.

Now working through the halls of the Assembly and Senate is a proposal by the Governor which would “empower voters to approve locally-designed plans that eliminate duplicate services to lower the cost of local government.” The governor’s proposal will authorize County Executives to develop local plans that reduce costs through the coordination and elimination of duplicative services. Once plans are put together they can be brought to the taxpayers through a referendum during the general election.

We applaud the Governor for continuing to offer policy changes and incentives to help drive down property taxes. We lend our support to the Governor’s plan to empower County officials to develop plans and bring them to the public for a vote. Notably and to the credit of County Executive Vince Horrigan and through the leadership of Legislator George Borello, Chautauqua County is well positioned for this opportunity. Last year Horrigan formed a Regional Solutions Commission to begin identifying opportunities for cost savings. That work is well underway and bodes well for property tax relief and the future of Chautauqua County.

Nominations Open for Chamber Awards

Members of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce are invited to nominate fellow members for our largest awards of the year: Person of the Year and Economic Development Award. These awards are presented annually during the Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Banquet, which will be held Thursday, October 5, 2017 at the Williams Center on the SUNY Fredonia campus.

The Person of the Year Award is given each year to a Chamber member who is recognized by the entire region for his or her outstanding achievements and contributions, either during the past year or throughout their entire life. This is someone who stands out and would be immediately recognized by the region as a leader. Their contributions can be through their efforts in business, community service, political leadership, charitable service, or other areas of interest. The Economic Development Award is presented to a company or organization that has contributed most to the economic development, quality of life, and stability of our region. Past recipients have been recognized for job growth, financial enhancements, and business and tourism development.

Submissions should include contact information for the nominee, background information, and a testimonial about why they are a good candidate for the award. Nominations must be submitted in writing by mail or email and must include contact information for the Chamber member who is submitting the candidate for consideration. For more information, please contact the Chamber at 366-6200 or 484-1101, or send your submissions directly to Chamber President and CEO Todd Tranum, 512 Falconer Street, Jamestown, or ttranum@chautauquachamber.org.