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Unshackle Upstate seeks deep tax cuts, end to moratorium on shale gas drilling

Upstate business group seeks boost for economy
By David Robinson | News Business Reporter  (edited by OV)
September 3, 2013 – 5:58 PM

The Unshackle Upstate business advocacy group Tuesday unveiled its prescription for the sputtering upstate economy: deep tax cuts and a lifting of the moratorium on shale gas drilling.

The plan calls for more than $800 million in tax cuts for businesses and individuals, coupled with an end to state restrictions that have prevented natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale that lies beneath portions of upstate New York.
“Our New ERA for Upstate plan will help combat the burdensome taxes, high unemployment rates and population losses that have plagued upstate for far too long,” Sampson said, referring to the group’s economic-revitalization agenda.

The plan calls for:
• An end to the state’s moratorium on natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale and other shale formations across portions of upstate New York. Lifting the ban would generate about $78 million in revenues for the state in the coming fiscal year and yield even more money for the state in future years as drilling expands, Unshackle officials estimated.

The plan, however, faces some immediate hurdles, including a State Legislature that is dominated by downstate lawmakers, and budgetary constraints that would be worsened by the loss of nearly $800 million in revenue.