Tuesday, March 13, 2018

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Statewide group calls for governor to hold the line on spending

NEW CITY – The group Reclaim New York Initiative called on state legislators on Monday to not support Governor Cuomo’s $1 billion tax and fee increase and urged oversight for economic development programs.

Organization Executive Director Brandon Muir told a New City news conference the state cannot afford the governor’s $168 billion budget.

Muir particularly took aim at Cuomo’s economic development program where regional councils select funding for projects, many of which are for private business.

“If you look at the investment strategy of venture capitalists, when you put that money in, you have certain restrictions that allow you to claw that money back, as they say, if the other entity doesn’t hold up the end of the bargain,” Muir said. “Our development strategy goes about it completely in the wrong way. The first thing they are doing is building a factory so if the company never shows up you’ve already invested the money in the factory. That is the wrong way to do economic development. They investment money in the company. If they don’t produce the jobs and the company goes bankrupt, the taxpayers again are left on the hook. There is no way to claw that money back.”

Muir said while Albany promised to address high property taxes with mandate relief years ago, “Albany has largely ignored its promise.”

The state is heading toward the April 1 budget deadline with a $4 billion deficit.


Muir (podium): "... wrong way to do economic development"


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