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Firms risk loss of tax credits

Empire Zone status in doubt

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The state has informed 600 businesses around New York — several of them representing major projects in the Capital Region — they are in danger of losing their Empire Zone certifications. The businesses employ nearly 17,000 people. The list includes the massive Wal-Mart distribution center in Fulton County, the Scotia-Glenville Industrial Park in Glenville, the Parker Inn in Schenectady and First Niagara Centre in Albany County. Loss of certification would make them ineligible to receive ...

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May 28, 2009
4:50 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Good. Accountability for businesses receiving tax credits and such from via IDA's and the Empire Zone Program has long been a problem in NYS. Those are TAXPAYER dollars being used (or tax revenues foregone) to promote business here in NYS. Money doesn't grow on trees.

I'm all for helping to promote business and so job creation in NYS, but I'm not for flushing money down the toilet. If a business promises to do something in return for help, then DO IT. Otherwise, take the help away. For that matter, sue them to recoup what we've already given them, too.

BTW, the Gazette free login has been working horribly since at least last weekend. Today was the first time it worked for me despite having to make several attempts before login finally "took." Maybe the tech staff could check things out. Thx.

May 28, 2009
8:42 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Glad to see the state is finally beginning to unravel the GOP/Pataki welfare program for corporations. Most communities are trying to keep Walmarts out. Pataki was giving them tax breaks!

No wonder our budget is so far in the hole

May 29, 2009
11:41 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

A business called Harmony Mills West is on the decertification list linked in this story. Yesterday. I was looking at the ownership of this entity in the NYS Department of State's Corporation ownership database -- publicly available here:

It wasn't clear to me if the entity being decertified was related to Uri Kaufman's Harmony Mills, L.P. Guess what, it is, according to a story in today's Times Union:

The Gazette should have checked the list and gotten this story first given all the talk about Uri Kaufman's so called plans for Chalmers in South Amsterdam.

Maybe Mayor Thane should also think twice about rolling over for Uri Kaufman. Some due diligence on the part of the City of Amsterdam would be been nice, too.

The Kaufman plan will ONLY enrich Mr. Kaufman. He will get HIS money when he "rents" the tax credit to some big corporation who needs a write-off. The City and the State will be left holding the bag. Smarten up, Amsterdam and give Kaufman the boot out of here.

May 29, 2009
11:57 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

I should clarify that the Cohoes project is listed in the DOS database as HARMONY MILLS HISTORIC PARTNERS, L.P. among other things.

Just plug in "Harmony Mills"in the begins with box and you'll see a bunch of corporate entities named Harmony Mills which may or may not be related.

BUT...if you compare the filing dates and other information (Bayside addresses) for


it sure looks like this guy


is one of Uri Kaufman's partners that the TU is referring to in the decertification of Harmony Mills 1. In fact, take a look at all those corporate entities starting with the words "Harmony Mills." They all seem to be related.

Isn't this all interesting?!

May 29, 2009
4:02 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Odd story. Readers not told what the Empire Zone program does, what benefits it offers to qualified businesses, under what conditions, with what promised outcomes. Nor are readers told why the program(s) is (are) under review by the state now.

Does the state allege there is possibly some chicanery on the part of those getting the undefined Empire Zone benefits now?

How does the reporter know 600 businesses and 17,000 people might be involved in the state's enforcement effort..... whatever that effort might be? Does this information come to the reporter from, "an unidentified source" who was not authorized to reveal this information to the media?

The story draws heavily on information from folks working in quasi public agencies whose job it is to give out applications for the Empire Zone Program and other assistance to businesses in their community .

Not a, "fair and balanced" report .... hmmm! On the other hand maybe it is.