March 16, 2007
Senate plan would invest $3.7 billion in Upstate economy
Upstate's economy would receive a $3.7 billion boost through tax relief and incentives under the Senate Majority's Upstate economic revival plan.
The plan, unveiled May 15 by Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, seeks to revitalize the Upstate economy by reducing taxes, updating infrastructure and strengthening business, a release from the Majority said. The plan would provide businesses more than $3.7 billion in tax relief, investment and economic incentives over three years.
"Revitalizing the upstate economy and creating new economic opportunities for young New Yorkers is a top priority for the Senate Majority," Senator Bruno said. "With the launch of our Upstate Now agenda, we are advancing a comprehensive, strategic plan that will strengthen the state's economy, particularly Upstate, create thousands of new jobs and generate tremendous new investments in communities all across our State.”
"Senator Bruno and his colleagues in the Senate majority have crafted a broad package of proposals that would benefit the Upstate economy and all of New York State,” said Kenneth Adams, president and CEO of The Business Council. “It's particularly encouraging to see the Senate emphasize the need to help Upstate with proposals that address both the core business-climate issues that hurt all employers in all sectors across the state as well as the need for investment in technology and innovation, which will be central to New York's future economic success."
The Upstate Now plan would:
- Provide tax relief to New York businesses by reducing
taxes on the state's manufacturing sector; provide
school tax rebates to business employing fewer than 20
people; lower the corporate franchise tax from 7.1 to
6.85 percent; reduce taxes on small business, aviation
and marine fuel; and advocate for tax relief at the federal
level by lobbying for the elimination of taxes on New
York's economic development incentives.
- Update and improve Upstate's infrastructure by
investing $300 million in capital support to economic
development and technology project, building a high-speed
railway connecting the state's city centers; rebuild
and revive the state's highways, roads, bridges,
water and sewer lines; support state-wide broadband access;
invest in the 21st Century Food Laboratory in Geneva and
the state Data Center in Utica; and create new commerce
and economic growth zones around regional airports.
- Encourage growth in innovation and technology by providing
major manufacturers with refundable tax credits; invest
$100 million in regional partnerships for investment;
use $300 million in regional venture funds to create new
investments; invest in agribusiness and agriculture enterprise
applied research and technology; exempt businesses in
academic incubators from sales tax; provide commercialization
assistance grants; increase credits for qualified emerging
technology companies and create incentives for bioscience
and nanoscience commercialization; encourage and support
new capital investments in Upstate technology centers;
and reconfigure economic zones to address rural needs.
- Promote energy independence and clean alternative energy;
provide $350 million in refundable energy tax credit to
small businesses; create solar and fuel cell manufacturer
tax credits, cellulosic ethanol production tax credits,
and alternative energy use tax credits; eliminate petroleum
business tax on nonresidential heating fuel; provide $300
for research on clean, renewable energy; extend existing
low-cost power programs, including Power for Jobs; reduce
property taxes on Biofeedstock production land.
- Reduce health care costs on small business by allowing
businesses to purchase Health New York at the unsubsidized
cost; expand Health-NY coverage for individuals from 208
percent of the federal poverty level to 250 percent; provide
small business with tax credits for health insurance cost;
and exempt Health Savings Accounts from state health insurance
- Revitalize aging Upstate communities by encouraging
development by cleaning brownfields and finding new use
for obsolete manufacturing facilities; encouraging downtown
revitalization; create asbestos remediation tax credit;
and finding ways to better promote Upstate's heritage,
history and culture.
- Attract new manufacturers by finding global manufacturers
looking to invest in U.S. facilities, and develop inventive
packages, including refundable tax credits, to attract
- Invest in workforce preparation programs and meet businesses
workforce needs by expanding SUNY Learning Network's
remote education programs; supporting experience-based
education programs and developing networks of community
college technology training centers; creating regional
technology-focused high schools; supporting employer investments
in workforce education and training; enhancing funding
for individual training accounts; and supporting the state-wide
introduction of the New Work Readiness certificate.
- Encourage entrepreneurs by creating a simplified business
start-up and support program by creating a hotline for
small business and an online program with problem-solving
tools; creating an online incubation program for small
and start-up companies; establishing an online database
of forms and regulations in simplified language; ensuring
funds for start-up businesses; creating entrepreneur savings
accounts and revolving loan funds for certain industries;
and ensuring equal authority of the regional Empire State
- Promote Upstate's recreational and cultural opportunities by enhancing coordination of regional tourism; promoting historic and cultural sites; and elevate the I Love New York tourism program by removing it from Empire State Development oversight and creating a cabinet-level leadership position.
More on the Senate Majority's Upstate Now plan is available