Malliotakis meets with Bay Ridge business owners
Sales tax, bridge tolls, B37 bus are topics on agenda
Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, who has been endorsed for re-election by the National Federation of Independent Business, a group representing owners of small businesses across the country, recently met with merchants in Bay Ridge to discuss steps taken in Albany that she said will help improve the economic climate.
Malliotakis (R-C-Bay Ridge-Staten Island) said the action taken by the State Legislature to restore the sales tax exemption on clothing under $110 is an important step in helping small businesses. In addition, she pointed to other moves, including reduction of the state’s corporate income tax and the elimination of a manufacturing tax, as important steps.
On the local front, she said a toll discount plan for commercial vehicles using the Verrazano-Narrows and Port Authority Bridges will spur economic activity. The restoration of the B37 bus on Third Avenue will help the local economic picture because it will help bring employees and shoppers to the Bay Ridge business district, she said.
Malliotakis also pointed to the legislature’s ability to close a $13 billion budget deficit in 2010 without raising taxes on the middle-class, but instead by cutting wasteful spending, and said it was a vital step in restoring confidence in the state’s economy.
Malliotakis, who was first elected to the assembly in 2010, is running for her third term in office. Her Democratic opponent, Marybeth Melendez, is a student development assistant at the City University of New York (CUNY) making her first run at public office.
The meeting between Malliotakis and Bay Ridge business owners took place after the lawmaker was endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).
“I am proud to have the support of NFIB and of other business owners in my district. I have worked hard with my colleagues in Albany to reverse the mistakes of the past and provide a better economy to help small businesses throughout New York State. From bringing back bus service to reducing taxes and fighting for toll relief, I am keenly focused on what we can do to bring new business to my district while assisting those who have already established roots in the community,” Malliotakis said.
Deirdre Cronin-Butler, owner of Paws Truly, a pet supply shop on Third Avenue, said business owners are only looking for a fair shake from the government. She said she felt confident Malliotakis would look out for them. “As a small business owner, the threat of high taxes, fees, and overregulation is always present. I’m proud to support Nicole’s re-election to the State Assembly so she can continue fighting against the countless burdens placed on small businesses, and afford us a fair opportunity to succeed,” she said.
“Small business owners appreciate the efforts of Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis and the NFIB to assist them in cutting through and shrinking the regulatory red tape of government. In turn, that allows businesses to focus on doing business and employing local people,” said Robert Howe, a lawyer who serves as president of the Merchants of Third Avenue, a group representing 300 store owners on the avenue.
Malliotakis said that by helping business owners, the state is also assisting workers. “By reducing the cost of doing business, we are providing business owners with the means to grow and expand and create more job opportunities,” she told the Brooklyn Eagle.
Melendez is also seeking to address economic issues.
On her campaign website, Melendez outlines her economic policy positions, including her goal of turning both the Bay Ridge and Staten Island ends of the assembly district into a hub of economic activity. “We will rebuild and revitalize our district. Our economic plan will turn our community into the new hub for young technology, as well as social and entrepreneurial businesses with domestic and global reach,” a statement from Melendez on the website reads.
Melendez lists the growth of small business in the district as one of her top priorities.
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