Itís Time to Shut down Start-Up NY

A legislative column by Assemblyman David DiPietro (R,C-East Aurora)
February 16, 2017

In 2013, I cast my vote against the controversial START-UP NY program. I believed that creating tax shelters within the state while everyday businesses on Main Street struggle in our stateís dreadful tax and regulatory system was inherently wrong. Following the 90-day late report released on the jobs created by the program, I am renewing my call to shut it down. We cannot afford to chase good money after bad.

As a small-business owner, and Ranking Minority Member on the Assembly Committee on Small Business, I know that jobs are created by getting government out of the way, by relieving regulatory pressure and reforming our oppressive tax code, not adding new Albany programs. START-UP NY and Gov. Cuomo attempted to work around the edges of our economic issues. Instead of doing what was difficult and attacking our high taxes and undue regulations, they created an entire ad program to deliver special tax exemptions for these zones. It was yet another public relations answer to a real-world issue. Those inside the Albany bubble do not understand what it takes to create jobs because many of them have never had to do it.

Over the past two years, START-UP NY has spent $95 million in taxpayer dollars to create a little over 400 jobs over that time. This is simply a bad investment. Economic development cannot be created through cheap re-election gimmicks. The economy and business leaders are too smart to fall for START-UP NY. We should be creating the kind of business climate they have in the places weíre losing our jobs and our neighbors to. Places like Florida, Texas, and the Carolinas. All of New York isnít open for business and thatís the problem.

Once we act on shutting down START-UP NY we must begin to focus on repairing the longstanding issues with our economy. The issues that have led to our neighbors leaving their generational houses. The issues that have led to our mom-and-pop businesses on Main Street shuttering their doors and seeing their American Dream stunted. The issues like Florida passing us in population. This is a tax system that punishes success and takes money out of the pockets of our entrepreneurs and allows them to reinvest that money in their version of the American Dream. We need to clear out the regulatory burden that scares away investors, keeps small-business ownership out of the hands of those looking to create a better life for themselves and their children, and make New York the easiest state to begin a business rather than the hardest. We cannot continue in this wooden and perfunctory manner, with careless indifference to those too small to have their own lobbyist or campaign account.

To discuss this or any other state issue, please call my hometown office at 716-655-0951 or drop by 411 Main Street here in East Aurora.