At first glance, START-UP NY may look like the key to boosting our economy. However, as I delve deeper into the specifics of the program, it becomes clear its not in the best interest of the Capital Regions economy.
Our country is still paying for the economic downturn caused in large part by relaxed government regulations on businesses. I fear this program is too reminiscent of that lax attitude and could cause disastrous results. In addition, it closely mirrors the failed Empire Zones program, which the state abandoned several years ago, once it became clear businesses were abusing the program by not creating promised jobs but collecting lucrative tax incentives.
START-UP NY will have a negative impact on other areas of state funding and is inherently unfair to businesses already struggling to thrive and hard-working employees outside of the tax-free zones. For example:
- exemptions from personal income taxes will create an unfair situation in the workforce. For example, an engineer who works for GE, will pay income taxes while an engineer employed in a tax-free zone will not, even though both earn the same and do substantially similar work; and
- the failure to appropriately tax businesses will deprive municipalities and local schools of needed aid and revenue.
We need a more comprehensive approach to build our infrastructure and attract and retain businesses here in New York, much like what we have done with the successful Nanotech Center. This will in turn provide better opportunities for our youth showing them that New York State is the right place to build their lives and careers.