Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday a no-tax initiative to assist upstate SUNY campuses and communities in attracting start-up companies, venture capital and investments.
The governor’s Tax-Free NY plan would allow businesses to operate for five to 10 years in 200,000- square-foot zones surrounding SUNY campuses without paying sales, property or business taxes and with no income tax for employees. An additional 3 million square feet of commercial space will be available at private universities.
To be eligible, businesses must have a relationship with the adjacent university or create new jobs or be relocating to New York. The initiative applies to campuses outside of New York City and north of Westchester County.
According to state officials, 93 percent of New Yorkers live within 15 miles of a SUNY campus and all state residents live within 30 miles of one.
“Tax-Free NY will supercharge our efforts to grow our economy by transforming localities in upstate New York into virtual tax-free communities for new businesses and new jobs,” Cuomo said in the announcement. He said the plan will make upstate communities “a magnet for new businesses, new startups, new venture capital and new jobs, taking our economic development and job-creating efforts to a level never seen before.”
The plan must be approved by the State Legislature.