Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (8th Senate District) was joined by his colleagues in the Senate and other government officials as he heralded the first Empire Zone awarded to Nassau County. The Nassau Zone, which covers two-square miles of area throughout the county, will foster economic growth in Freeport and Roosevelt, among others.
"This is a great opportunity for the residents of Freeport and Roosevelt to benefit from this valuable state program. It has been a long wait for this but now these areas can expand existing businesses, attract new businesses and create much needed opportunities for employment," stated Senator Fuschillo. "This will also be a great economic boost not only for these two regions but the entire county."
The Nassau Empire Zone was jointly requested by Nassau’s State Senate delegation, Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi and Town Supervisor Murray to ensure that the county would benefit from this economic mechanism.
The Empire Zone program utilizes a variety of tax incentives to stimulate economic growth and job creation. Businesses that create new jobs within an Empire Zone are eligible for sales tax exemptions, real property tax credits, wage tax credits and utility rate reductions that enable it to operate almost "tax-free" for up to 10 years, with additional savings available on a declining basis in years 11 through 15. Statewide, more than 300,000 people are employed by 9,500 businesses operating within 72 Empire Zones.
Through an agreement enacted in the 2004-05 New York State Budget, the State Legislature authorized 12 additional Empire Zones to ensure that one is located in every county by 2008. In an agreement this week, three new zones were created and the New York State Senate choosing Nassau County to receive its designation. In addition to the areas of Freeport and Roosevelt, Nassau County’s Empire Zone will assist business development in Bethpage (at the former Grumman site), Glen Cove, Elmont, Inwood, New Cassel, Uniondale, West Hempstead and the village of Hempstead.
In a show of unity for Nassau County, the announcement was delivered by Senator Fuschillo, Senator Dean G. Skelos (9th Senate District), Senator Kemp Hannon (6th Senate District), Senator Michael A.L. Balboni (7th Senate District), Senator Carl Marcellino (5th Senate District), Empire State Development Corporation Chairman Charles A. Gargano, Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto, Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray and Nassau County Executive Suozzi to celebrate the fact that economic revitalization will be coming to the county.
"In today’s highly competitive global marketplace, New York’s Empire Zones have served as a powerful tool in helping us stay one step ahead in our efforts to attract new businesses and create new jobs," Governor George E. Pataki said. "By providing Nassau county with its own Empire Zone, this successful program will better be able to help bring new companies and new jobs to these areas, and help existing companies expand, create and retain jobs."
Empire State Development Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, "The Empire Zone program is a perfect example of one of the policies and strategies that Governor Pataki has implemented to help New York State grow. Opportunities and jobs are being created, and businesses and our economy are seeing the positive impact of the Zones program."
"Empire Zones are about job creation, economic opportunity and expanding the local tax base to alleviate the burden borne by property taxpayers," said New York State Senate Deputy Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos. "For years, Nassau’s Senate delegation has championed the designation of an Empire Zone within Nassau County. Today’s announcement is the culmination of this effort and ensures that economically-challenged communities across Nassau County benefit from this powerful economic development tool. Further, it builds upon the successful state-county partnership that saved Nassau from bankruptcy."
"The creation of the Empire Zone supports the vision of New Suburbia in Nassau County," said Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi. "To revitalize our aging suburban communities, we need to attract new businesses and provide for expanded job opportunities. We have worked in bipartisan cooperation to obtain this designation. My thanks to Senator Skelos and the members of our State Senate delegation for this important economic achievement for Nassau County and its residents."
"The people of Freeport and Roosevelt, as well as those in the other designated areas, deserve to have the playing field leveled. The Empire Zone has proven successful in enabling good strong neighborhoods to grow by providing a boost to those who are trying to succeed. This is a program that will help strong people grow, create opportunity for some where it had ceased to exist and one that is long overdue for the proud people of Freeport and Roosevelt," concluded Senator Fuschillo.
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