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News stories tagged with "empire-zones"

Local officials cautious on Empire Zone reform

The state's controversial Empire Zone program, which gives tax incentives to businesses, is set to expire next year. It's been beset by mismanagement, spiraling costs, and underperformance in job creation. Senate Democrats this week announced a new task force to overhaul the Empire Zone program. North Country officials agree the program isn't working, especially for rural parts of Upstate New York. But they worry the alternative may be...nothing. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Albany drills down for Upstate economy answers

The man charged by Governor Spitzer with revitalizing the Upstate economy was in Potsdam yesterday. Daniel Gundersen brought together North Country officials and business leaders to create a road map for economic growth. He was joined by New York's First Lady, Silda Spitzer. Gundersen distanced himself from the Pataki administration's main economic development tool: the Empire Zone. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Empire Zone program helped and was abused

Yesterday, we heard about New York's troubled Empire Zone program. Businesses in the Zones are taking more than 500 million dollars in tax breaks. But critics say many companies are failing to meet goals for creating new jobs in economically depressed areas. In just a moment, we'll hear from the coordinator of Empire Zones in Clinton County. But first, Brian Mann spoke with a North Country businessman who used the tax breaks to expand his company. He agreed to be interviewed about his experience with the program only on the condition that North Country Public Radio conceal his identity.  Go to full article
North Country Empire Zones
North Country Empire Zones

Empire Zones face new criticism, probe

State officials are scrutinizing thousands of New York businesses that signed up for tax breaks under the Empire Zone program. The Spitzer administration says as many as three thousand companies may have failed to meet their goals for expanding jobs. More than 240 businesses in the North Country are on the list. The Empire Zones have exploded in cost over the last seven years, growing from $30 million in 2000 to a projected $550 million this year. Supporters say those subsidies have boosted business in struggling communities. But critics say taxpayers aren't getting much bang for their buck. Today and tomorrow, we'll talk with a variety of experts, including officials with Empire State Development, and a business owner who signed up for the tax breaks. To get the big picture, Brian Mann spoke with Michelle Breidenbach, a reporter for the Syracuse Post-Standard. Her newspaper has published a series of investigative reports about Empire Zones.  Go to full article

Pataki Defends Economic Development Program Amid Criticism

Governor Pataki's economic development czar Charles Gargano was on the hot seat at a hearing by Assembly Democrats on the effectiveness of the state's primary job creation program, known as Empire Zones. Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article

Assembly Democrat Blasts Pataki's Empire Zone Program

A State Assemblyman is calling for a moratorium on all of the state's economic development programs, based on evidence he's found that he says shows a relationship between political campaign contributions and tax breaks given by the Empire Zone program. Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article

Survey: Empire Zones not Creating Enough Jobs

Democrats in Albany are critical of a Pataki Administration program that gives tax breaks to companies for creating jobs in New York. An audit has found that most of the companies do not follow through with the jobs that they promised. Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article

Legislative Leaders Agree on Keeping Empire Zones Strong

The leaders of New York State Legislature are far from agreement on how to resolve the state's budget problems, but there's one area in which they both agree: Senate leader Joe Bruno and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver do not want to weaken the state's economic development program know as Empire Zones. Karen Dewitt reports.  Go to full article

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