More than 2,000 companies across the State - - including several in State Senator Hugh T. Farley's district - - could retroactively lose their existing Empire Zone benefits under a drastic plan approved by Democrats in the State Budget that is now being implemented by the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC).
Senator Farley (R, C, I - Schenectady) joined his Republican colleagues in opposing the plan, which strips businesses of Empire Zone tax breaks that they have previously qualified for under the State’s preeminent job-creation program, and warned at the time that its approval could result in the loss of thousands of jobs.
Within the last week, ESDC has issued letters to the approximately 8,000 businesses which qualified for tax breaks and other benefits under the previous Empire Zone regulations. More than 2,000 of those businesses have received letters stating that they have been terminated from the program or are at risk of being terminated.
Senate Republicans offered an amendment during budget deliberations that would have ensured the State put in place a number of initiatives to create jobs for workers and protected Empire Zone benefits which companies had previously qualified for. Democrats rejected the amendment in a party line vote, Senator Farley explained.