A member of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s cabinet, Matthew J. Driscoll, talked to about 50 people Tuesday at SUNY Oneonta about a program to encourage job creation. START-UP NY, that had been called Tax-Free NY, was signed into law last week. The meeting was held at Hunt Union.
The plan is designed to stimulate upstate economies, Driscoll said, and allows every SUNY community college and four-year college or university to establish a tax-free community using:
• Vacant land on the SUNY campus (for every campus outside of New York City);
• Vacant space in buildings on the SUNY campus (for every campus outside of NYC);
• Any business incubator with a bona fide affiliation to the campus, university or college; and
• Up to 200,000 square feet within one mile of a campus (for every campus north or west of Westchester County), or further with approval from Empire State Development, which has final approval on all businesses that participate
Participating companies in START-UP NY will not pay any taxes (business/corporate taxes, sales taxes and property taxes) for 10 years. Employees in participating companies will pay no income taxes for the first five years. For the second five years, employees will pay no taxes on income up to $200,000 of wages for individuals, $250,000 for a head of household, and $300,000 for taxpayers filing a joint return. The number of net new jobs eligible for personal income tax benefits will not exceed 10,000 new jobs per year.
It arose from the recognition that job growth is taking place where businesses have a partnership with colleges and universities, Driscoll said. It requires college presidents to work with others to attract businesses, either as start-ups or from other states. They will then apply to Empire State Development for inclusion in START-UP. If non-university properties are involved, he suggested that local government can work with the college on development of a payment in lieu of taxes program.