Gov. Andrew Cuomo held an event in Manhattan this morning to tout the launch of his Start-Up NY initiative, which will allow businesses to pay no taxes if they set up near college campuses.
The program starts Jan. 1, and Cuomo held the event in the city in an effort to lure interest from businesses to locate upstate.
“I believe it will have an international appeal. There is no place on the planet like New York,” Cuomo said of the program he first unveiled in June.
Cuomo has praised the tax-free program as a way to counter New York having among the highest taxes in the nation. The Tax Foundation this month said New York has the worst business climate in the country.
“This will sell itself: You just put out those two facts. Zero tax; state of NY. The rest is history,” Cuomo said.
The program has faced criticism from business groups and some Republicans for only targeting certain businesses and not bringing down taxes for all companies in New York. They’ve called for broad-based tax cuts.
But Cuomo said the program will jump start parts of the state in desperate need of an economic boost, particularly upstate. He said there will be 68 tax-free zones.
“It takes that great liability of New York, the high taxes, and it eliminates it overnight. You can’t beat zero,” Cuomo said.