and energy research and to create an "Enhanced Investment" tax credit for financing new capital ventures.
These are good ideas; however, he speech did not include a commitment to existing businesses. For example, he said he will allow the Empire Zone Program to expire on June 30. Though it will be replaced with another jobs program called Excelsior, this program will support businesses in specific fields such as clean energy development, biotechnology and information technology. This policy does not support existing small businesses and manufacturers. We have many businesses here that, in some cases, have moved here because of Empire Zone tax breaks. To eliminate the Empire Zone tax breaks will, unfortunately, add more reasons to their list of why they should do business elsewhere.
With simple policy changes that take tax burdens away from residents and businesses, we can keep and attract residents and businesses in Upstate. By reducing energy costs, creating new sources of clean energy, and eliminating harmful energy taxes, we can make our state more inviting to businesses. The housing is here and our schools are among the best in the country. I am
hopeful we can make the new year one of reform--one void of budget gimmickry, new taxes and fees.
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