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Klein: small biz help in budget

Bronx Times

Small businesses should be seeing some welcome benefits from the newly passed budget in Albany.

That’s the word from state Senator Jeff Klein, who met with small business leaders in his east Bronx district on Friday, April 19.

Klein, now co-leader of the Senate coalition government with Republicans, met with them at Spoto’s Restaurant in Throggs Neck, where he hailed small businesses as the places where most new jobs are created.

And several items as part of the 2013-14 budget, he told the merchants, improve their chances of success.

“If you look at the statistics, and the reasons for the high unemployment around our country, and especially here in New York, is that everyone says we should be doing more for small business,” said Klein. “But so far, we haven’t – until today.”

Among the important legislation passed in Albany that should benefit small business:

•Some 5% of business income, up to $250,000, will be exempt from taxation, to be phased in over three years, starting at 3% of income in 2014 and rising to 3.4% of income under $250,000 in 2015.

•Phasing out a surcharge on business utility costs over three years.

•Tax breaks for manufacturers.

•A “Hire-a-Vet” tax credit, providing tax breaks to businesses that hire returning war vets.

Klein said he was particularly proud that The Hire a Vet tax credit – “a piece of legislation I am proud to have sponsored” – was included in the budget.

“As I traveled across New York State, I was struck by the persistently high unemployment rate among veterans,” he said, adding that “This tax credit provides businesses that hire a post 9/11 veteran with up to $5,000 and up to $15,000 if that veteran is disabled.

He noted that “with nearly 15% of young veterans in the Bronx out of work, this is a real opportunity for both businesses and veterans to grow professionally.”

John Bonizio, co-owner of Metro Optics in Westchester Square and Parkchester, and chairman of the Westchester Square Business Improvement District, who attende dthe meetying, said small businesses have been “nickled and dimed” for too many years with taxes and fines.

Anything that helps reverse this trend, he said, would be an improvement.

Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at procchio@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3393

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