Lt Governor Talks Tax Free Zones

06.11.13 | Abby Ferenczy

"The idea is to make the 64 SUNY campuses, job creation hotbeds around the state. Project that does not cost the state any money. Not cost communities any money, no property tax loss. No revenue loss because campuses don't pay taxes anyway." The plan would allow new businesses to build on, or near, SUNY campuses, free of all business, property and personal income taxes for 10 years. But not just any business can build. To be approved, it must create new jobs, be a new business or start-up ... or if an existing business, the project has to be a new endeavor, not just an expansion. Businesses can develop on, or adjacent to the campus, up to 200,000 acres. Now President Douglas says they won't bother the neighbors across the street from Spencer Hill. She says there's plenty of undeveloped land to be discovered. The college will have final approval over any business that comes on campus. Douglas hopes the new business will build upon their academic strengths. And for parents worried that business could get in the way of studies. “There would be ways to merge concepts of entrepreneurship, business, while remaining true to our academic mission." Lieutenant Governor Duffy added that the State of New York has a reputation for high taxes, scaring off potential businesses. He says this plan is the answer to the problem. President Douglas is not sure yet, whether the tax free zones will extend to the college's Big Flats and Elmira campuses. The plan still needs to be approved by the New York State House and Senate. The legislative session will end later this month.