New York Farm Bureau tells lawmakers their priorities for the State Budget

Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 5:43 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Governor Hochul will soon unveil her state budget, and the New York Farm Bureau told lawmakers Tuesday what they hope it’ll do to help agriculture in the state.

“An ability for farmers to make it easier and more attractive to invest on our farms is exactly what we need right now in New York State,” said Jeff Williams, New York Farm Bureau’s Director of Public Policy.

Agriculture’s economic effect in the North Country is $1.7 billion, about the same as the importance of Fort Drum to the area. At this news conference, the Farm Bureau wants to prioritze some issues, including ending quarterly deductions to pay for the unemployment insurance fund, and halt minimum wage increases.

“You can’t keep making it more expensive to do business in this state, especially when other states are far behind on a wage raise. Like all consumers, farms are facing high inflationary costs,” said David Fisher, New York Farm Bureau President.

Also, more funding for programs like the Nourish New York Program, which benefits farms and people in need.

Meanwhile, the Farm Bureau likes what it is hearing about a refundable investment tax credit possibly included in the state’s budget.

“This will incentivize investment, especially coming out some challenging years with low commodity prices and then the pandemic,” said Fisher.

The New York Farm Bureau telling lawmakers what’s important to farmers. The state budget should be unveiled in the next few weeks.