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Jacobs urges governor not to delay tax credits in budget

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Wed, Jan 31st 2018 01:40 pm
Says governor's proposal defers brownfield, historic tax credits key to Buffalo's comeback
In a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week, New York State Sen. Chris Jacobs urged the governor to reconsider a budget proposal that would delay the payment of brownfield and historic tax credits until 2021. In Cuomo's current executive budget proposal, all but three of the state's business tax credits would be deferred for the next three years. Some refundable credits would be deferred as long as five years.
"The New York State Brownfield Tax Credit and Historic Tax Credit programs have done more to spur the billions in private sector development in Buffalo and Western New York than any other program," Jacobs said. "Over the last decade, each of these programs have spurred close to $1 billion each in private sector investment, creating jobs, new housing stock and bringing vibrancy back to our region."
Jacobs also raised his concerns about the deferrals to Empire State Development President and CEO Howard Zemsky during budget hearings in Albany this week. During questioning, the senator urged the ESD head to emphasize the importance of the credits directly to the governor.
In addition to prompting costly legal challenges, opponents of the idea to delay payment of these credits owed to developers, investors and business owners say the deferrals will lead to concerns about the reliability of the credits that may stifle future projects. Jacobs said developers he has spoken with said this would be especially true with riskier projects.
"Thousands more people are living, working and playing in our cities and first-ring suburbs directly as a result of these two program," Jacobs said. "For the first time in decades, we have momentum that we can build off of and I don't want to see that stifled."
The senator noted how local preservationists were successful in fighting against the elimination of the federal historic tax credit program in the recent federal tax reform legislation, and said he is hoping for a similar occurrence locally.
"I hope the preservation and development communities will join with me to voice their concerns and opposition to this budget proposal," Jacobs said. "The continued revitalization of our upstate economy is at stake here."

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