Chris Kendall of Madison County and Jacob Rieper of Columbia County are the DeregulateNY contest grand prize winners. Both nominated an antiquated state law requiring new limited liability companies (LLCs) to buy ads announcing a “notice of organization” for six weeks in two local newspapers, one weekly and one daily. This routinely adds several hundred to several thousand dollars to the cost of starting a business.
New York is one of a small handful of states that force would-be entrepreneurs to jump through this hoop. In the digital age, the publication requirement is a costly and outdated burden on people trying to earn a living and create jobs. Kendall’s entry noted, “Anyone wanting to learn about a LLC would do an online search at the NY Secretary of State’s [website], not do a newspaper archive search.”
The first runner-up was Darren Goldstein of Suffolk County, who pointed out another section of the Limited Liability Company Law that requires LLCs to file biennial statements that include information already included on annual tax filings. In addition to the required $9 filing fee, businesses are also saddled with the cost of having the paperwork prepared.
Stephen Sadlon, of Westchester County, was second runner-up, highlighting a section of Tax Law that requires professional tax preparers to pay a $100 fee if they prepare 10 or more income tax returns in a year.
Justin Graf and Brian Sharlow tied for third runner-up, uncovering an archaic provision in the Public Lands Law that requires property owners who discover silver or gold on their private land to file a $50 “notice of discovery” and to provide the state with a “map made on tracing cloth with india ink of the land.” Further, the state is entitled to a one percent royalty on the market value of the silver and gold mined after five years.
“There isn’t one particular rule or regulation that’s responsible for New York’s harsh business climate,” according to the Empire Center’s executive director, Tim Hoefer. “As DeRegulateNY showed, businesses face a constellation of bad policies that together stifle growth and make it harder to create jobs here.”
There were more than 150 entries in the contest, many others highlighting ways in which rent laws, the minimum wage hike and other mandates are making it harder to do business in New York.
The Empire Center, based in Albany, is an independent, not-for-profit, non-partisan think tank dedicated to promoting policies that can make New York a better place to live, work and raise a family.