Apr 04, 2005 — As a part of the budget, lawmakers agreed to extend one of the state's main economic development programs. The Empire Zones program gives more than 9,000 businesses tax credits to locate in New York and create jobs. There are almost a dozen Empire Zones in northern New York. The new legislation heightens reporting requirements for companies that get tax breaks. And it links benefits more closely to job creation. It extends the program until 2015. David Sommerstein spoke with North Country Assemblyman Darrel Aubertine. He says the program is designed to help distressed communities.