The Business Council supports this legislation that would create a fully refundable broadband deployment tax credit for residents and small businesses in underserved areas. Currently, no such tax incentives are available to consumers for broadband network construction. We believe it is essential that the legislature act to assure a credit program is available to support new broadband investments in New York State.
This broadband tax credit is designed to be an incentive program for the promotion and growth in broadband deployment throughout the state, particularly in rural areas that are underserved. This bill is crucial in supporting New York State's economic goals, which include expanded internet connectivity throughout the state.
To be eligible, a business or resident must be located in an underserved area. Only residential and small business customers can receive a tax credit. No broadband provider is eligible for the credit and must make significant contributions to the construction costs. Any eligible out of pocket expenses the resident or small business incurs for the construction of the network will be eligible for a 100% refundable tax credit over 5 years. Local taxpayers will also have the freedom to decide what technology provider they wish to select for service.
This bill is expected to support millions of dollars of investments with as many as 10,000 residents and businesses a year taking advantage of the program. We believe this will be an important program for the state and we urge the legislature to approve S.5481/A.7588.