Cedric Glasper, the President and CEO of Mechanical Rubber in Warwick, attended the Manufacturing Lobby Day in Albany on Wed., Mar. 6 and served as a member of the Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY) Economic Development and Taxes lobby group. This group had two objectives: supporting tax parity and opposing prevailing wage mandates.
The first would demonstrate support for tax parity for all manufacturers, which would include extending to S-Corps (small to medium manufacturers) the same tax rate reduction already granted to C-Corps (large manufacturers) in the 2019-2020 state budget. Reducing tax rates for the C-Corps in 2014 grew manufacturing in the state, seeing New York move to one of the top ten states for manufacturing from the bottom ten.
With the roughly two-thirds majority of manufacturers in New York being small and medium S-Corps currently paying the second highest income tax rate in the state, a tax reduction equivalent to the one granted the C-Corps is expected to promote growth and expansion and keep these businesses from moving to more tax-friendly states. According to a September 2018 study by the Beacon Institute, extending the corporate franchise tax rate to small and medium sized manufacturers would add 4,600 private sector jobs the first year and cause a $118 million rise in investment.
The second objective was to voice opposition to Bill S.1947/A.1261 that would impose a prevailing wage mandate on private sector construction statewide. The State Department of Labor calculated prevailing wage, in some local labor markets, can be much higher than the typical wage. This would make the costs of construction prohibitive in many areas of the state and impact affordable housing, historic preservation, renewable energy, and nonprofits. The mandate would also include off-site fabrication of building materials, which would potentially damage interstate and international commerce.
Glasper stresses the importance of manufacturers getting involved. “It is imperative that all manufacturers speak out to make sure we are properly represented in New York State, and nationally,” he said. “That shows how viable we are in our local and regional community workforce.”
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul was the Key Note Speaker at the MACNY-sponsored luncheon held at the Fort Orange Club. Besides serving as President of the New York State Senate, Hochul is the chair of the Regional Economic Development Council and the State Workforce Investment Board and she co-chairs the State’s Heroin and Opioid Abuse Task Force. In her address, she stated that one of the biggest challenges to manufacturers right now is the lack of a skilled workforce. Glasper couldn’t agree more.
“The Lt. Governor is absolutely correct,” he commented. “It’s a very frustrating situation to be in when you have the business but you don’t have the skilled labor to produce your product. I am always looking to add workforce and to enhance my team at Mechanical Rubber.”
Glasper serves as a Board member on the Orange County Workforce Investment Board, the Council of Industry of Southeast New York, and the Manufacturers Association of Central New York. He has served on the Finance and Investment Committee for the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan and is a past president of the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Greenwood Lake Revitalization Committee.