Want to buy an office building right under the glow of Rochester’s iconic Eastman Kodak headquarters?
How about starting a business at Sullivan County Community College to develop the next generation of baseball bats? Or use 21,000 square feet of office for a high-tech incubator at Binghamton University?
Cuomo officially launched the controversial program last week, and the state is starting with a sampling of sites around New York – mainly empty space on college campuses – to attract new businesses.
“In a tax-free environment, no one can match what New York has to offer,” Cuomo said in a news release Oct. 22. “Businesses that are looking to startup or expand, and most importantly create jobs, should look no further.”
The program allows businesses to pay no income, property or business taxes for 10 years if they locate near a college campus. Some higher-paid workers would have to pay income taxes after five years.
The initiative starts Jan. 1.
In the Hudson Valley, the state is marketing the 7,738 square-foot former president’s home at SUNY Purchase in Westchester County for redevelopment. Two other sites on the Purchase campus are being offered, including a former animal lab space.
Sullivan Community College in the Catskills said it is interested in a company to develop new baseball bats.
“These new technologies will enable the company to produce baseball bats which are superior to those currently available in the market through a unique and sustainable manufacturing process,” the state’s website said.
Some business groups have been critical of the program, saying it would boost some companies at the expense of others. They have called for broad-based tax cuts.
“Any sound economic development policy should be broad,” said Mike Durant, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business.
“Looking back, New York gets itself into some problems when it they continues to do targeted incentives, whether it’s for a specific industry or the caveat, in this case, is a college campus.”