One of the chief complaints about the Empire Zones program – which is designed to give tax breaks to companies that create
jobs – is that it lacks accountability.
Reforming the Empire Zones program
Recently, the state comptroller studied the Islip Empire Zone and discovered that 61 percent of businesses did not meet their job creation goals, while 17 percent of businesses actually lost jobs. That’s why Assemblyman Ramos supported legislation and held public hearings on Empire Zones to fix the program.
The Assembly’s legislation – which passed last year – would create an Empire Zone Control Board to oversee the program
(A.9021-A ), and:
- Require comprehensive reports from both the Empire State Development Corp. and state Department of Taxation and Finance so
that taxpayers know the true number of jobs created and the true cost of the program
- Designate new zones based on a priority system of economic need
- Decertify businesses that simply reincorporate without adding any new jobs in order to obtain benefits
Assemblyman Ramos supported the State Financial Incentive Protection Act, which prohibits companies from receiving
financial incentives if they are sending jobs out of the state. It also requires that, if a company has received state economic
development funds and then outsourced jobs, it must return any money it received.
Stopping the outsourcing of jobs
In an effort to bring more disclosure and accountability to corporations, Assemblyman Ramos supports legislation to:
Direct the Department of Labor to examine the effect of offshore outsourcing of information technology jobs
Require companies to annually disclose any tax credits they have received (A.11703)
Hold companies responsible for economic development incentives they have received (A.11681)
People should make decent wages and shouldn’t have to worry about putting food on the table after working a 40-hour week.
That’s why Assemblyman Ramos sponsored legislation:
Working to make wages higher, fairer
- Raising the state’s minimum wage to $7.15 per hour, up from the current $5.15 mark (A.11760-A)
- Sponsored the New York State Fair Pay Act, to ensure that pay differences for both public and private employees are not
based on a person’s sex, race or national origin (A.6701)
Ramos urges the Senate and governor to take action on these vital measures.