The health reform bill will put a 2.3 percent excise tax on device sales, starting in 2013. A report in this week's Business First shows how that will put major pressure on manufacturers to decrease costs, especially small-device manufacturers. There are many in Western New York. The Medical Device Manufacturers Association says many of its members could be faced with layoffs, cuts to research-and-development or a slowdown in new development.
Area developers are holding out for changes to the state's historic tax credit program. Governor Paterson submitted the bill last month, which would allow developers to sell tax credits to banks and insurance companies to generate capital for large scale projects. The Senate has yet to vote on it. It is part of the Assembly's budget proposal, but the state has not passed a budget yet. Legislators are due back April 7.
The Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers selected Niagara County as the site of its 2012 gathering. 30 outdoor travel writers, photographers and producers are expected to visit various Niagara County landmarks. The goal is to generate articles and highlight the outdoor offerings of the area.