Yes, the governor said today as he repeated the plan in Albany, Buffalo and Syracuse: 100 percent tax free.
"I mean tax free," he said at the SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. "That's why I said tax free."
Wow! What a deal! But is it a good one? And for Whom?
New Hartford has a nice Business Park. So does Utica. So does Oneida County at the old Airport in Whitestown. So does Rome at Griffiss "International" Airport. So does Frankfort in the "pumpkin patch." These won't qualify for this special tax treatment. So, local governments (and don't even think of private developers) now have to worry about competing with State facilities for new businesses.
Under the proposal, a business's tax-free status would last a decade. Workers would go five years without paying income taxes. After that, their first $200,000 of income would be tax free, under the governor's plan.That's a heck of a deal if you are one of the lucky workers in one of the state-annointed businesses . . . but what about the rest of us? When it comes to competition for employees, these state-annointed businesses will have a leg up. How can you as a small business employer compete with this? So the State tips the scales in the competition for employees in favor of the businesses in their tow.
These workers will be no different from everyone else --- except that they get special tax treatment. To the extent that we all "benefit" from the operations of our State government, why should the State create a special class for them? Why shouldn't they pay their fair share? That means that the rest of us will be paying their share.
Frankly, all this is is a recipe for more State control of the economy and more power for those in government. Certain businesses that curry favor with the party in power will get (1) special financial benefits and (2) get a government created advantage over their competition. The the root causes of the State's economic malaise will remain unresolved: over taxation, over regulation and, in general, too much government.
I guess it is too much to expect the State to lower taxes for everyone ...
If everyone were treated alike no one would feel beholden to the politicians.