MICHAEL JOHNSON/Livingston County NEws
Congresswomen Kathy Hochul (left) addresses the crowd outside the new Livingston County Democratic Party headquarters on Main Street in Geneseo Saturday at the ribboncutting and grand opening
Congress comes to town
By Sally Santora and Mark Gillespie
U.S. Congresswoman Kathy Hochul (D-NY 26) was in Livingston County on Saturday to cut the ribbon on the new home of the Livingston County Democratic Committee, located on Main Street in Geneseo.
A crowd of supporters gathered to welcome Hochul and to celebrate the democratic presence in Geneseo once again. County democrats have not had a local headquarters since the last presidential campaign when they were located on Route 20A in the area that is now Byrne Dairy.
Livingston County Democratic Chairperson and delegate to the Democratic National Convention this fall, Judith Hunter, said the ribbon cutting was a kickoff celebration of what is going to be a great election cycle this fall.
“This fall is going to be an election like we’ve never seen. The last couple of elections in Livingston County have not been a fluke. Kathy Hochul understands what the word representative means. She is here all the time. It’s a great change that everybody can see. It’s going to make a big difference in November,” Hunter remarked.
Hochul spoke of her frequent visits to Livingston County and specifically her recent visit to the Coyne farm in Avon, where they have grown their small manure-to-fertilizer operation. Sale of their fertilizer products has expanded from five stores to now over 200.
“This is one of the incredible stories about this district. I am so impressed with the ingenuity in this county. It helps the economy and gives people jobs,” Hochul commented.
She spoke about her passion for the 26th District and the issues she is addressing in Congress, including maintaining Pell grants for college students and revamping the tax codes to provide relief for small businesses.
She referred to her family roots in small business and the challenges facing small business owners today. Hochul is hosting the Workforce-Ready Educate America Act, which aims to form partnerships between employers and educational institutions by providing tax credits to employers who hire students and provide them with technical training. Hochul says she repeatedly hears from business owners that she speaks with, that there is a lack of qualified workers.
Her goal through the Workforce-Ready Educate America Act is to bridge the gap between employers who need skilled employees and those who are unemployed or who are seeking employment in a technical field.
The Congresswoman says she is highly visible in Livingston County and enjoys her frequent visits here and the opportunity to talk with people; Tom Wahl’s restaurant is on her favorites list.
“I’m a strong advocate for Livingston County. I really believe in this area. You’ll not be disappointed; no one will work harder for this district than me. Your faith got me here; your faith will keep me here,” Hochul told supporters.
Schumer talks tax relief for small businesses
Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) made an appearance at the Livingston County Chamber of Commerce last Wednesday to discuss proposed tax relief legislation for small businesses.
The Small Business Jobs Tax Relief Act of 2012 would allow business owners to write off the entire cost of new capital equipment purchases on their taxes.
“That’s a huge shot in the arm for businesses,” said Schumer. “The idea is to get businesses investing just as the economy is turning the corner.”
Additionally, the act would allow businesses to claim a 10 percent tax credit for any new employee hired — reducing the tax burden for small businesses by up to $500,000.
The credit also applies to businesses who give existing employees raises. For instance, a $5,000 raise would amount to a $500 tax credit for the business owner.
Schumer introduced John Quinlan of Quinlan’s Pharmacy and Medical as an example — a company that plans to spend $55,000 soon on a new delivery van an medical software.
Quinlan, who has locations in Wayland, Geneseo and Canandaigua, plans to open a fourth location at Montour Falls in Schuyler County — adding at least 10 new employees.
Between the capital spending and the new hires, Schumer estimated that Quinlan could save $20,000 on the company’s tax return next year.
Schumer cited figures from the U.S. Department of Treasury that predicts the proposed law would reduce small business average costs of capital across all investments by 75 percent.
“What’s more, a dollar in tax cuts devoted to accelerated depreciation generates about $9 in national gross domestic product growth,” said Schumer. “That’s well worth it.”
One of the strengths of the plan, according to Schumer, is that it rewards new investment by small businesses, which he says accounts for “between 50 and 75 percent of new jobs created in America.”
“This new proposal rewards actual job creation by true small businesses, which could be a game-changer for the Livingston County economy and local residents,” he said.
“I will fight tooth-and-nail to bolster the trend of economic recovery and get this job-creating bill passed.”
Schumer is optimistic that the bill will garner bi-partisan support in Congress — as tax relief measures, rather than additional spending, are popular with both Democrats and Republicans.