In the wake of criticism of the START-UP NY program’s early job-creation numbers, members of its project approval board discussed Friday whether to begin measuring jobs “indirectly” created by its tax breaks.
“Maybe it’s something that should be part of the requirements, or part of the follow-up information,” said Andrew Kennedy, chairman of the approval board. The two other approval board members were also supportive of the idea.
START-UP allows new and expanding businesses to exist in tax-free zones for 10 years on SUNY and other campuses across the state, plus a handful of private sites. Not all the tax-free zones are on traditional college campuses (some are in urban areas, for instance), and the idea behind counting “indirect” job creation would be to measure the multiplier effect of well-paying jobs created directly by the tax breaks.
Lawmakers are already making noise about the economic develop plan’s performance a year in. On Friday, Capital New York reported that Robin Schimminger, chairman of the Assembly’s economic development committee, has said the program’s costs “far outweigh the benefits.” The program is set to receive millions for an advertising campaign from the just-enacted state budget.
According to a report recently released by Empire State Development, the program during its initial year created only 76 jobs and $1.7 million in investment.
The statistics for StartUpNY are dismal and we're taking a beating in the press and from some legislators because we spent $53 million on the program and got 76 jobs and $1.7 million in investment in return?
Let's change how we calculate the statistics and count "indirect" jobs by pulling the numbers out of our backsides and declaring them "real."
What a fabulous idea.