How is local economic development changing?
Mar 02, 2011 11:18 am
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Brian McMahon, executive director of the New York State Economic Development Council."][/caption]So what's the Cuomo administration doing to better the economy in counties like ours, now that its backing the Excelsior Jobs Program over the old Empire Zones? Colin DeVries of the Daily Mail gets to the heart of the story while reporting on a meeting between Brian McMahon, executive director of the New York State Economic Development Council, and the Greene County Industrial Development Agency board last week. Although on the surface, the Excelsior program now provides only $50 million in tax credits where the Empire Zone Program provided $600 million in tax credits, new efforts are being made to extend the Excelsior tax benefit period from five to 10 years, to revise job creation tax credits to be based on income tax receipts for each new job rather than simply providing $5,000 per job, to enhance research and development tax credits to be equal to 50 percent of the taxpayer’s federal research and development credit, and to base real property tax credits on the value of property after improvements rather than prior to investment. Yet he also added that without the additional capital injected into the program to provide further incentives, local economic development agencies will have to step up their own incentive programs. “The biggest gap is that there is no way to provide real property tax incentive without hurting communities,” said IDA Director Sandy Mathes about the loss of state capital incentives. “It makes getting the ultimate deal done more difficult.” Mathes added that local IDAs may have to be “more aggressive” with their own tools, including payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, or PILOT, deals.