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The BALCONY Bulletin

Finding  Common Ground Between New York Business and Labor
  
 
July 9, 2008
BALCONY Joins Successful Battle vs. Property Tax Cap
 
BALCONY, the Business and Labor Coalition of New York, has joined an even larger alliance representing over one million New Yorkers opposing suggested Property Tax Cap legislation.  Relying on a survey conducted by TREND NY which indicated that New Yorkers by two to one prefer an income-based cap on their taxes rather than a cap on local school levies, the vast majority of coalition members fear that a property tax cap will adversely affect funding quality instruction for the state's public schools. 
 
TREND NY also found that respondents said their primary motivation was to limit taxes and not curb school funding, by a margin of 82% to 18%.  The income-based approach, known as a circuit breaker bill, would provide appropriate relief for all property owners more equitably than the property tax cap, which treats a rundown shack and a mansion as equivalent, thereby allowing an unfair advantage to the mansion owner. 

BALCONY Lubin property tax cap

NYSUT Executive Vice President Alan Lubin said, "New Yorkers support their schools.  While property tax relief is needed, a cap is too arbitrary and too destructive to education.  A circuit breaker is the way to go."  BALCONY business Co-Chairman Bruce Ventimiglia added that "a circuit breaker provision provides immediate tax relief whereas a property tax cap will at best stop future increases." 
 
Even though the opponents of the Property Tax Cap have won a temporary victory, Albany insiders expect this issue to re-surface in the fall, so the reasoning and arguments behind the circuit breaker approach must be trumpeted far and wide.
 
BALCONY Produces "Health Care Pulse of New York for Small Business;" Hosts Forum on Health Care Surveys
BALCONY health care survey forum 
A majority of small businesses in New York believe that a public-private partnership is the best way to provide health insurance to their workers, according, to a new survey, "The Health Care Pulse of New York Small Business," issued by BALCONY, the American Cancer Society, AARP and the Small Business Majority. Read the survey.
 
As a follow-up to the ground-breaking survey, BALCONY hosted a Health Care Public Opinion Research Forum on June 12th that focused on the health care concerns and preferences for health care reform of New Yorkers and New York's small businesses. The forum was co-sponsored by the New York Chapter of the American Association for Public Opinion Research , the American Cancer Society, and the Baruch College School of Public Affairs and took place at Baruch College.
 
Click here to read the entire forum report.
BALCONY BRIEFS
 
BALCONY Supports Labor's Fight for Retiree Health Benefits: Urges Governor Paterson to Sign Retiree Health Insurance Legislation
 
BALCONY has joined its labor members in continuing to fight back against misrepresentation of legislation that would protect retiree health benefits. The legislation was approved by both houses of the legislature and will soon go to Gov. David Paterson. "This legislation is about what is right and fair in making sure that localities live up to their responsibility to retirees that their promised health care coverage will continue to be there," said CSEA President Danny Donohue, one of the key members of the BALCONY Coalition. 
 
The Retiree Health Insurance legislation (S. 6457a/A.9393a) provides for a one year moratorium on unilateral employer action by local governments to change health benefits for current retirees. The bill also calls for a legislative study of the issue.
 
Stan Winter, President of the Retired Public Employees Association (RPEA) added, "These tax-paying New Yorkers dedicated their working lives to the service of the people of this State and must not be abandoned now that they are in their later years and existing mostly on fixed incomes."
 
BALCONY urges Governor Paterson to sign the Retiree Health Insurance Legislation as soon as possible to continue retiree benefits at current levels.  
 
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BALCONY Supports St. Vincent's New Plan To Build New York City's First Hospital Of the 21ST Century
 
As part of its effort to ensure quality and affordable health care for all New Yorkers, BALCONY announced its support for St. Vincent Catholic Medical Center's plan to build New York City's first hospital of the 21st Century. "St. Vincent's Hospital is dedicated to providing quality medical care to thousands of union families, small businesses, and government workers on the West Side of Manhattan," stated BALCONY Co-Chair Alan Lubin. "We support the hospital's revised plans to bring 21st century medicine and care to our communities."
 
Arthur Cheliotes, President of CWA 1180 representing more than 10,000 municipal employees, and member of BALCONY, testified before the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in support of the St. Vincent's revised plan at a public hearing on June 3, 2008. The new hospital-- the first to be built in New York City in 20 years -- will feature many of the latest technological advances to improve healthcare efficiency. 

 BALCONY Allies Stand Together

BALCONY small biz others

From left to right: Bill Ferris, AARP; Ron Deutsch, Microbiz NY; Lou Gordon, BALCONY; Bruce Ventimiglia, Co-Chair BALCONY;Troy Oechsner, NYS Insurance Dept; Joseph Sano, OMCE; Eleni Delimpaltadaki, BALCONY; and Peter Slocum, American Cancer Society.
BALCONY golf image 
REMINDER!
 
Join Us @ BALCONY's Inaugural Golf Outing
with Guest of Honor:
 
NY City Comptroller William Thompson Jr.
 
 BALCONY William Thompson
 
Monday, July 21
Rockville Links
800 N. Long Beach Road in Rockville Center, L.I.  
 
Tee-Off Time:  
 11:30 am
 
Click here to sign up and for more info, including directions.
 

NOTABLE QUOTE

Eric Dinallo, NY Insurance Superintendent on BALCONY's "Health Care Pulse of New York for Small Business" Survey:
 
"The Insurance and Health Departments are working on finding practical ways to provide health insurance to all New Yorkers through the Partnership for Coverage. As this survey shows, solving the health insurance problem for small businesses is an essential part of that effort. Right now, we are helping small businesses through the Healthy NY program.  We hope to apply the lessons of Healthy NY and of this survey to our larger effort to make quality, affordable coverage available for New York's small businesses."
WELCOME, New BALCONY Members! 

First American Title Insurance Company of New York
 
 
BALCONY , the Business and Labor Coalition of New York, represents more than 1,000 New York businesses, labor unions, and trade associations. BALCONY seeks common ground in the public policy debate in New York to spur economic development through the adoption of business/union friendly, socially responsible common sense laws that maintain and improve the quality of life for working New Yorkers.

Call, Write, or Email BALCONY:

BALCONY: 
265 West 14th Street, Suite 203
New York, NY 10011
212-219-7777.
Contact: Lou Gordon - BALCONY Coordinator
loug@balconynewyork.com
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