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For Release — Nov. 24, 2009

Business Council says New York needs stronger economic development program

ALBANY— “New York needs a new economic development program that supports strategic objectives for growth with incentives that are economic and efficient,” said Kenneth Adams, president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. in testimony before the New York City Council's Economic Development Committee. The committee held a hearing on the future of the state's Empire Zone program which expires in 2010.

“We believe that the most effective economic development strategy for New York State is to create a more competitive business climate. New York needs to address its crushing tax burden, especially real property taxes; reduce energy costs, and bring the cost of employer-provided health care under control,” added Adams.

The Business Council said New York needs a flagship economic development program that encourages major new investment and the retention of jobs, development of technology and innovation businesses and help for urban and distressed areas of the state.

The Business Council also called for a long-term economic development power program to offset the state's high energy costs and the re-establishment of Industrial Development Agencies' ability to finance civic facilities.

The Business Council opposed the imposition of wage mandates on IDAs making them less effective as an economic development tool.

“The reality is New York is in competition with other states and nations to attract new capital investment and new jobs. The state needs these economic development tools to get ahead in that competition,” said Adams.

The full testimony is available here.

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