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Unshackle agenda


Unshackle Upstate has released a five-point plan for job growth and lower taxes in the parts of the state that aren't New York City. It focuses primarily on eliminating or changing certain taxes and surcharges. But Unshackle officials also highlight the potential benefits of fracking the Marcellus Shale. | Fracking could create 12,000 to 15,000 jobs in the Southern Tier, say Unshackle officials, and would generate approximately $78 million for the state in 2014-15. (The job creation figures and economic benefits of fracking are often viewed skeptically, in part because many of the jobs go to workers from outside the areas where drilling is happening.) | Unshackle Upstate is also calling for: reducing by 25 percent the income taxes for upstate residents making less than $50,000 a year; phasing out the corporate franchise tax by 2018; halving the state sales tax in upstate counties with high unemployment and declining populations; and eliminating the 18a energy assessment for upstate manufacturers — a move that would lead to slightly cheaper energy costs for manufacturing businesses. | Left unsaid is how to make up for the revenues lost through these moves. Unshackle officials say that's not their problem — it's the state job to fill the gap.