Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak (D-Cheektowaga) announced that the 2011-12 state budget creates the Recharge New York power program, strengthens the Excelsior Jobs program, forms Regional Economic Development Councils and provides capital funding for projects necessary to jumpstart Western New York’s economy.
“Western New York has the natural resources and the manpower to take full advantage of the economic development initiatives included in this year’s budget,” Gabryszak said. “We have the University at Buffalo and Niagara Falls right in our backyard. It’s time to put Erie and Niagara Counties at the forefront of New York’s economic revitalization.”
Recharge New York provides long-term, low-cost power
A permanent replacement for the Power for Jobs program is included in the final budget to be approved by the Assembly. Recharge New York is a sustainable and predictable energy program for businesses and not-for-profits designed to protect and create jobs as well as encourage new capital investments.
“I’ve been a staunch supporter of the Power for Jobs program, but have long advocated for a permanent replacement,” Gabryszak said. “Local businesses will be able to make use of the extra discount power benefit under Recharge New York, which will free up more capital for job creation and economic development.”
Under Recharge New York, the New York Power Authority (NYPA) will provide 910 megawatts of low-cost power to businesses and not-for-profits that are committed to job creation and retention and capital-investment goals. Qualified applicants will receive power purchase contracts for up to seven years, providing reassurance for businesses who intend to make long-term investments and workforce commitments. Recharge New York customers will be required to undergo energy audit, to ensure energy efficiency.
Current Power for Jobs customers who don’t qualify for an award of Recharge New York power will be phased out over a four-year period.
Excelsior Jobs provides an additional $1.25 billion in needed tax credits
The Excelsior Jobs program was established in 2010 to boost job creation and provide investment incentives to businesses in strategic industries across the state, such as manufacturing, high-tech and clean-energy jobs. The 2011-12 budget strengthens the program by enhancing tax credits and improving the program’s responsiveness.
The budget extends the program’s tax benefit period from 5 years to 10 years and provides a jobs tax credit equal to the product of gross wages paid and 6.85 percent. Over the next decade, the program will expand, giving businesses the stability they need and provide $2.5 billion in total relief. The final budget also increases the Excelsior Research & Development tax credit from 10 percent to 50 percent of the taxpayer’s actual federal research and development credit, and bases the Excelsior Real Property tax credit on the value of a property after improvements.
“In the past, New York has been considered to be a state that is unfriendly to business,” Gabryszak said. “We have seen countless companies leave our own back yards with workers following suit. This needs to change; hardworking Western New Yorkers are struggling to find stable, well paying jobs. This program will give business owners incentive to grow their company right here in Erie County.”
Regional Economic Development Councils promote local job growth
The 2011-12 budget provides funding for the Regional Economic Development Councils across the state. The councils, chaired by the state’s lieutenant governor, will help create a region-based approach to allocating $130 million in state funds over a two year period for economic development.
“No longer will Western New York be overlooked and underestimated,” Gabryszak said. “These councils will benefit the upstate region, and will give us the opportunity to showcase our great resources and focus on growing our manufacturing and high-tech industries. Erie County families are still struggling to make ends meet. As we make our way out of this economic downturn, I’ll keep fighting to ensure that families and businesses in Erie County have the resources they need to succeed.”