Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – Most New Yorkers – 93 percent – live within 15 miles of a SUNY campus, which is part of the reason Governor Andrew Cuomo wants them to become economic engines and create tax-free zones for new businesses.
SUNY Cortland president Erik Bitterbaum wants his campus to be a tax-free zone. “This is to bring business back into New York, which is really quite extraordinary,” he said.
Governor Cuomo says it would allow new businesses that partner with SUNY schools to operate tax free.
The businesses would get a decade with no sales, property or business taxes, and new employees would not have to pay income taxes for 10 years.
Bitterbaum said, “What a powerful tool, to say to customers, ‘New York is really open for business, you won't pay any state tax, other sort of taxes for a decade and neither will your employees.’”
The goal is to spur job growth and bring new business in.
But state Senator John DeFrancisco (R) is concerned it leaves out New York companies that have been struggling to survive for years, which won't be able to take advantage of the tax incentives.
"I think it’s innovative, better than nothing in some respects, but a broad-based tax cut is what the real need is," said DeFrancisco. "I think that would be a better plan."
There’s still a lot of work to do before the plan goes into affect. The senate and the assembly would have to approve it. Their session ends on June 20.