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Schumer Touts Temporary Repeal Of Medical Device Tax

Lucas Willard
Sen. Charles Schumer (left) tours AngioDynamics

The Glens Falls region has a rich history of medical device manufacturing. More than 2,000 people work in New York’s “Catheter Valley”.

Democratic U.S. Senator Charles Schumer toured AngioDynamics’ Glens Falls manufacturing plant Thursday.

Local officials have been pushing against the medical device tax since it went into effect in 2013. Language in the recently signed federal spending plan lifts the tax off manufacturers for two years.

Schumer said he was approached by AngioDynamics’ CEO Joe DeVivo in Washington about lifting the tax.

“And when he came to lobby me, Mr. DeVivo said it would mean more jobs here in Warren County and Glens Falls and in the Capital Region. When I hear something like that my eyes light up,” said Schumer.

DeVivo said over the past two years, the company paid more than $12 million out to the medical device tax. He says that tax was preventing the company from growing in upstate New York. Now, he says the company will be able to invest to create jobs.

He said  with news of the tax repeal, the company recently signed a deal that otherwise would have been too great a risk.

“And when this tax went through, we felt comfortable to make the additional investment, and that just started last week, and we will find other things,” said DeVivo. “It will benefit in the near-term because it’s a tax that we are not paying, but we are going to invest.”

“And, remember, it’s 2.3 percent of revenues.  That’s a lot!” added Schumer.

Schumer said the two-year elimination of the tax would not affect funding for the Affordable Care Act.

The Senator added he would join his fellow New York lawmakers in advocating for a full repeal of the tax.

Republican State Senator Betty Little thanked Schumer for his work on the legislation.

“It’s very, very commendable and I’m very grateful to him for that. When you walk through and you see people working, and that’s really what people want – they want to be able to have a job. They want to be able to have a job, they want to be able to support their families, to do the things that are needed for their children, for their parents, for whoever, it just really means something.”

Lucas Willard is a reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011.
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