Oaks: Renew Empire Zones Program

March 14, 2005

Assemblyman Robert Oaks (R,C-Macedon) today said he supports renewing the Empire Zones program in the 2005-06 state budget, calling it one of New York’s most effective job development resources.

Oaks said the program has helped to create more than 71,000 jobs since its inception. By law, the program is to expire at the end of March unless it is extended as part of the state budget for the new fiscal year beginning April 1.

Assemblyman Oaks noted Empire Zones provide business-friendly combinations of tax reductions, energy savings and other incentives to encourage businesses to expand or locate in designated areas of New York. He said the program has benefited many communities across the state through job creation. Acknowledging the need for improvements that would strengthen the Empire Zones program, Assemblyman Oaks cited proposals by the governor in the 2005-2006 state budget and additional efforts to establish at least one Empire Zone in each county.

According to Oaks, the Empire Zones program has been an important part of the governor’s efforts to cut taxes, create new jobs and enhance the state’s economic climate.

"The Empire Zones program is an excellent economic development tool for New York and its communities," Oaks said. "We need to improve the program and pass the governor’s proposed five-year extension as part of this year’s budget," Oaks added.