Broker Check

                                                                                                                                                              September 30, 2011



New York Is Not Biz Friendly


            According to Crain’s New York, Governor Cuomo is spending $50 million of taxpayer money to publicize the advantages of conducting business in New York. We agree with        Alan Dlugash CPA’s September 19, 2011 letter to Crain’s New York who succinctly said “New York is indisputably one of the most unfriendly business states, with a Legislature that piles more administrative burdens onto businesses and a Department of Taxation that is among the most aggressive in the country.


            Thanks to our Legislature, the state now demands a new payment of an LLC fee every Jan. 30, causing large administrative burdens disproportionate to a small amount of additional revenue. It also created an MTA tax with additional forms to fill out as a separate levy not contained within one’s business taxes and tax filings. This tax must be reported four times a year, and there is no recourse for overpayment.


            The Legislature continues to add the latest nanny state employment regulations each year, making New York a gold mine for lawyers to sue employers over technicalities. Its insistence on continuously giving enormous amounts to its public service unions guarantees that the tax burden will keep growing in the years ahead.


            The New York Department of Taxation is no better, as it ruthlessly goes after extra New York City taxes paid by state residents and New York State taxes paid by non-New York state residents. It demands huge and automatic penalties built into tax law on each assessment, penalties that are used as levers to get the New York taxpayer or business owner to agree to compromise that they often don’t really owe ……” Crain’s New York Business 9/19/11 p. 10. 


            I could not have said it better. Maybe this is why jobs, businesses, and people are voting with their feet and leaving New York. Our good friends in tax-free Tennessee say the New York and New Jersey accents are more common on their streets. 


College Rape Accusations And The Presumption of Male Guilt


            Early September brings recent high school graduates to college campuses around the country. Carefully planned orientation sessions will impress upon freshmen the paramount importance of sensitivity, of avoiding offensive words and ideas, and the urgency of maintaining a campus atmosphere friendly to women (who make up approximately 55% of incoming freshmen).


            The neglect at freshmen orientation of the aim of a liberal education and how it undergirds the principles of freedom is not an accident.  Our universities impair liberal education by what they teach and what they don’t teach as well as the illiberal rules they promulgate to regulate speech and conduct outside of class.


            The Obama Administration has aggravated the problem on April 4, 2011 by having the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) distribute a 19 page “Dear Colleague” letter to provide university recipients with information in meeting their obligations. At the cost of losing federal funding they are obliged, under Title 1X of the Civil Rights Act (which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex), to thoroughly investigate all allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault on campus, including the felony of rape. They are also obliged to CURTAIL DUE PROCESS OF THE ACCUSED.


            OCR’s new interpretation of Title 1X “Strongly discourages” universities from permitting the accused “TO QUESTION OR CROSS-EXAMINE THE ACCUSER” during the hearing.


            The OCR requires universities to render judgment using the civil “preponderance of the evidence” standard, the lowest standard of proof. This means, in a rape case, a campus disciplinary board of faculty, administrators, and perhaps students, serves as both judge and jury. Few, if any, of these judges are likely to have professional competence in fact gathering, evidence analysis, or judicial procedure. Yet, to deliver a verdict of guilty, they need only BELIEVE that the accused is more likely than not to have committed the crime.


            On campus, where casual sex is celebrated and frequently fueled by alcohol, the ambiguity that often attends sexual encounters is heightened and the risk of error in rape cases is increased. The consequences for a wrongly accused student are devastating: not only is he likely to be expelled, but he may well be barred from graduate or professional school and certain government agencies, suffer irreparable damage to his reputation and still be exposed to criminal prosecution.


            Where are the professors of history, political science and law who will insist clearly and in public that due process is a fundamental component of America political institutions and culture, a cornerstone of our legal system and indispensable in a free society to the fair administration of justice? Wall Street Journal 8/20-21/11 A13.


            As always, if you have any questions about these or any other matters, do not hesitate to call us.

            Remember, We’re Here For You!