Giglio: Loss Of Empire Zones Another Blow To Western NY

Statement from Assemblyman Joe Giglio (R,I,C,-Gowanda)

With the passage of last week’s economic development budget bill, downstate legislative leaders from the same party and same city have once again unfairly slashed programs and services that are vital to our Western New York businesses and communities. This time, they have moved to phase out the Empire Zones program, which provides essential tax credits to developing businesses and replace it with an Excelsior Jobs program. Under this new program, businesses will be negatively impacted by increased governmental regulations and tougher qualification standards. Some of those regulations and standards would include:

  • Cuts to business investments from $650 million to $250 million;
  • Phasing-out the Empire Zone Program, allowing businesses currently enrolled to finish out their contracts with no opportunity for renewal;
  • Narrowing the number of businesses that can qualify for tax credits by focusing on specific industries (Manufacturing, Agriculture, Financial Services and Customer Support Operations, Scientific Research and Development, Software Development, Back Office Operation, and other industries for potential growth determined by the Commissioner);
  • Regulating the number of jobs a business must create in order to be eligible for the program; and
  • Defining specific Investment Zones (48 total in the state) where only businesses within those zones can apply for the real property tax credit; just to name a few.

Similar measures have failed on the federal level and are sure to have the same impact here in New York State. The bottom line is: this will mean fewer jobs for Western New York.