Tompkins Designated For New Empire Zone

George Winner

July 26, 2006

Ithaca, N.Y.-- State Senator George H. Winner, Jr. (R-C, Elmira)said todaythat Tompkins County is one of six counties included in a new expansion of New York’s "Empire Zones" economic development program.

The new zones are being announced today by the governor and legislative leaders.

"It’s a positive economic victory for the county and the region," said Winner.

Winner said that six new Empire Zones are being designated this year, followed by three next year. Following next year’s designations, every county in New York State will include a designated Empire Zone.

"An Empire Zone will help spur economic development in Tompkins County and further strengthen the ability of the Southern Tier-Finger Lakes region as a whole to compete for jobs and future economic opportunties," said Winner.

Winner’s 53rd Senate District includes three counties with existing Empire Zones: Chemung, Schuyler and Steuben. The district also includes Yates county, which will receive its Empire Zone next year.

The Empire Zones program was established in 1986. The zones were originally called "economic development zones." Intended to bolster areas with pockets of poverty, high unemployment, dilapidated industrial and commercial facilities and shrinking tax bases, businesses located within the zones receive significant tax reductions through a range of credits on items including wages, capital investment and property taxes.