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john-c-cappello-smallYesterday afternoon Governor Cuomo unveiled his Tax-Free NY initiative. This initiative designates University campuses and surrounding areas in New York State as tax-free communities in order to attract start-up businesses, venture capital, new businesses and investments and spur investment in New York State. The initiative designates all SUNY campuses outside of New York City and designated private colleges North of Westchester as tax-free zones (no sales, property, or business corporate taxes). Up to 200,000 square feet of area surrounding the campuses will also be included as part of the tax-free community. The employees of the businesses that open up within these tax-free communities will also be exempt from paying income taxes.

It is anticipated that approximately 3,000,000.00 square feet in commercial space will now be made available at New York State’s private Universities and that 20 strategic State assets will be designated as tax-free.

Governor Cuomo unveiled this plan during a barnstorming tour of New York University campuses in Albany, Buffalo and Syracuse.

This development could be big news for SUNY New Paltz and other private colleges in the Hudson Valley who may qualify.

The initiative does require the approval of the New York State Legislature. According to the press release, legislative leaders have expressed their support.

We will keep you posted on developments and are excited for the opportunities to help our University communities plan for much needed economic growth that will hopefully result from this initiative.

John C. Cappello is a partner on the Land Use/Environmental and Municipal Law Teams. He can be reached by phone at 866-303-9595 toll free or 845-764-9656 and by email.

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