New York State Senator Ken LaValle and Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. announced this week the New York State Senate gave final passage to legislation that establishes the SUNY Tax-Free Area to Revitalize and Transform Upstate (START-UP NY). The program creates tax free areas around state colleges, universities and other designated areas. Senator LaValle said START-UP NY combined with recently passed Enterprise at Calverton Reuse and Revitalization (EPCAL) legislation creates a unique synergy for Long Island and the East End.
“Linking higher education with bio-tech, technology and energy businesses will produce good paying jobs for Long Islanders and establish an environment in which we can compete with areas like Silicon Valley,” Senator LaValle said. “Combined with my bill providing for an expedited approval process at EPCAL, we are now uniquely situated to incubate and grow new businesses. The nearby incubators at Calverton and Stony Brook University will act as feeders to new businesses that, once established and growing, can potentially site themselves at EPCAL. Additionally, the Southampton Campus of Stony Brook will provide the perfect environment for potential START-UP NY businesses and research.”
The START-UP New York program will create tax-free areas around the state’s colleges and universities. Tax-free areas will encompass vacant land or space on the campus of SUNY schools and community colleges.
Under the program, businesses will be virtually exempt from all taxes for 10 years, including exemptions from corporate income, personal income or business income taxes, no real property taxes due on property owned by a college or university and employees working at the business will be authorized to claim a personal income tax deduction equal to wages earned from the business in the tax-free area.
The personal income tax deduction will apply to all wages and salaries in the first five years of tax benefits. In the remaining five years, for single individuals, heads of households, and married couples the deduction will apply to the first $200,000, $250,000, and $300,000 of wages, respectively. The total number of new employees eligible for the personal income tax deduction will be capped at 10,000 per year.
At SUNY schools and community colleges in Westchester County, New York City, and on Long Island, tax-free areas will be limited to on-campus projects and businesses locating in the tax free areas will have to be high-tech/bio-tech or start-ups. START-UP NY tax-free areas will also apply to five CUNY schools, one per borough.
Retail, wholesale or personal service businesses, restaurants or hospitality businesses, real estate brokers or management companies, law firms or medical or dental practices will not be eligible for these exemptions as they would compete with existing local businesses.
“New York is home to incredibly innovative and successful universities and colleges that serve as key drivers of our state’s economy,” said Thiele. “In order for New York to keep up in the world’s competitive job market and attract new businesses, we must tap into some of our most valuable resources. START-UP NY will be a great initiative for the Task Force on University-Industry Cooperation to lead and expand. By strengthening and enhancing the partnerships and collaborations between the private sector and higher education institutions we will increase opportunities on the East End, boost economic activity and provide better-paying jobs so we don’t continue losing bright, young talent.”