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Queens Chronicle

Cuomo taps York as a ‘Start-Up NY’ site

College area gets tax-free zone

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Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 11:12 am, Thu Nov 7, 2013.

The area around York College in Jamaica has been designated a tax-free business zone by Gov. Cuomo under the state’s new Start-Up NY program.

The aim of the program is to establish tax-free areas around state and city colleges in an effort to attract businesses that would partner with the schools in return for 10 years of tax abatements.

The program is an attempt to encourage entrepreneurship and increase jobs by attracting startup or relocated businesses to areas around the campuses.

Companies that are selected will pay no income, state, corporate, property or local taxes for 10 years, and employees will be exempt from income taxes for the first five years.

“In a tax-free environment, no one can match what New York has to offer,” Cuomo said in a statement issued on Oct. 23. “Businesses that are looking to start up or expand, and most importantly create jobs, should look no further.”

In a joint statement sent out last Friday, York College President Marcia Keizs and city Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) lauded the governor for the program and the selection of the York Campus.

“We are excited by this tremendous opportunity provided by Gov. Cuomo through Start-Up NY,” Keizs said. “We look forward to working with our partners to bring emerging or expanding businesses to downtown Jamaica.”

Comrie said the designation will only build on the emerging success of Jamaica.

“With new businesses and affordable housing units opening around York, creating this tax-free zone will help entice tech entrepreneurs to Queens, bringing jobs in this developing industry with them,” he said.

State Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) also praised York’s selection, calling the Start-Up program a creative initiative for tough economic times.

“These are very powerful incentives, and if properly applied, they could be transformative for York and economically regenerative for Jamaica,” Smith said.

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