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Established Businesses Question Tax Free NY Program

CONKLIN -- Carol Yeager, who owns Gearcor in Conklin appreciates Governor Cuomo's recognition that Upstate New York's economy needs a jump start. But she doesn't think Cuomo's Tax Free New York Proposal is the answer.

"The merit of the idea is still lost on me," said Yeager.

The Tax Free NY proposal would create tax-free zones on SUNY campuses for new businesses. Yeager has her own solution.

"Reward all of the people who have endured the overburdened tax and regulatory structure in this state by cleaning that situation up because that is a permanent solution," said Yeager.

And she's not alone.

"If the state has money to give away, give it away to everybody. Lower everybody's fees. If the taxes were fair to begin with maybe people wouldn't be leaving," said Sam Lupo, President of Sam A. Lupo and Sons.

"It almost feels like the people who have stuck it out and been here and stayed here are the ones who will pay for that program," said Yeager.

After his May 30th trip to Binghamton University to pitch the plan, Cuomo said these tax-free zones are necessary to compete with other states.

"I can tell you I spend all day on the telephone talking to businessmen trying to talk them into coming to this state and trying to talk them into not leaving this state to go to a lower-tax state," said Cuomo on May 30th at Binghamton University.

Both Yeager and Lupo question how long businesses will stay in New York once their tax breaks run out.

"Are they going to stay after their 10 years? And if the state had not created this situation where our taxes are out of control they wouldn't have to play these games where they're pitting new businesses against existing businesses," said Lupo.

"So if those people who are committed are leaving I don't see that people who aren't necessarily home-grown individuals will make the decision at the end of the 10 years to stay," said Yeager.

****In Broome County, Jason Weinstein, FOX 40 HD News****

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