Now New York fires a shot across California’s bow

Now New York fires a shot across California’s bow


Start Up NYGov. Jerry Brown was not amused this past February when Texas Gov. Rick Perry made a four-day recruiting trip to California, hosting meet and greets with CEOs and other business executives in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Orange County.

Perry invited the CEOs and execs to relocate their companies to the business-friendly Lone Star State. If they were unready to completely abandon California, he told them, they could expand their operations to such Texas cities as Austin, Houston or Dallas.

Brown downplayed radio spots featuring Perry, a Republican, which aired in selected California media markets. “It’s not a serious story,” Brown, a Democrat, told reporters at a Sacramento business event.

“It’s not a burp,” said Brown, flippantly. “It’s barely a fart.”

By contrast, California’s governor hasn’t been nearly as dismissive of a television commercial promoting New York’s business climate that aired here in the Golden State during December.

“With over $1 billion in new incentives and tax breaks, this is an economy that launched over 50,000 new businesses last year alone,” the TV spot boasted. “Find out how to move or grow your business,” it concluded.

Now, the commercial didn’t directly mention the Golden State (perhaps out of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s deference to Brown, a fellow Democrat). But it almost certainly was a shot across California’s bow.

Indeed, like California, New York long has had a reputation for onerous businesses taxes. In fact, in the Tax Foundation’s 2014 State Business Tax Climate Index, the Golden State ranks third worst, while the Empire State ranks worst.

Tax cuts

But while Sacramento continues to saddle California businesses with ever-higher taxes, Albany has launched a bold new tax cutting initiative that will make New York State a hotbed for startup businesses and a magnet for out-of-state companies seeking a low-tax environment in which to grow their business.

START-UP New York (State University of New York Tax-free Areas to Revitalize and Transform Upstate New York), as the initiative is called, is meant to transform SUNY campuses into tax-free communities for new and expanding businesses. It is the signature achievement of Cuomo’s governorship.

Businesses that locate in those communities will pay no state taxes for 10 years. No income tax. No state or local business or corporate taxes. No sales tax. No property tax. No franchise fees.

It’s not hard to imagine that more than a few California CEOs have seen the START-UP New York commercials on cable and have given some thought to taking the Empire State up on its offer of ten years of no taxes.

Some of those CEOS could be heads of California-based Fortune 500 companies so fed up with Golden State’s onerous business tax climate that they just might be persuaded to move their companies cross country to New York.


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  1. Bob Smith
    Bob Smith 31 December, 2013, 12:08

    Most small businesses will be organized as pass-throughs (s-corporations, partnerships, sole proprietorships). Does the income tax break include personal income taxes as well as corporate income taxes? If not, this is not as exciting as it appears.

    Reply this comment
  2. Queeg
    Queeg 1 January, 2014, 01:39

    California with wage and benefit upward pressures for low ender service business employees will make 2014-15 very challenging….

    Inescapable… increases in productivity…..your gone!

    Reply this comment
  3. Bill Gore
    Bill Gore 1 January, 2014, 10:27

    The naked truth is no one NEEDS to be in CA or NY the way they did 50 years ago.
    So the hereditary cosa nostra emperor Cuomo has decreed tiny little free trade zones around the SUNY campuses for start ups. So what? People have to live somewhere, and where they will be living is in New York State, which is an even lower level of tax and regulatory Hell than CA, as if such a thing were possible. NY taxation and regulation is truly mind-blowing, even by California standards. A few years ago I had to file a basic NY state return and it was about 75 printed pages of redundant gobbledygook. New York’s best and brightest have been fleeing for years and they will continue to do so.

    Reply this comment
  4. Queeg
    Queeg 1 January, 2014, 11:07

    Go to upstate New York…..Detroit East. Albany downtown is memorable…..never after five p.m.

    Reply this comment
  5. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 2 January, 2014, 14:32

    By contrast, California’s governor hasn’t been nearly as dismissive of a television commercial promoting New York’s business climate that aired here in the Golden State during December.

    NY is just as upside down as Krazy KA is. Chicago is probably the ONLY major metro city in America not worse of then KY or CA.

    Boeing moved their corporate HQ to Chi-Town a few years back and I am telling you, they are REGRETTING that move now- BIGTIME.

    Reply this comment
  6. Queeg
    Queeg 2 January, 2014, 19:22

    Bashing California solves nothing. California is a neat place to live and work. Many people lived the true golden years of appreciating real estate, continuous promotions in their careers, independent business growth…growth all over the place.

    If you missed out……try it you’ll like it!

    I love this State.

    Reply this comment
  7. Bill - San Jose
    Bill - San Jose 3 January, 2014, 09:23

    So much most of you don’t know about this effort is not tied to small businesses or even longstanding existing businesses. This is tied to two things specifically:

    Solar and wafer technologies for startups. I have been all over this for a year now and have scheduled a trip in March for this very purpose … to see for myself. Colleagues of mine have setup appointments to meet with specific people who will provide more indepth details of what is planned for the upstate economy but figure it is going to be centered around the above mentioned technologies.

    It really won’t effect too much of this state. But it’ll lessen the bleeding of tech to the biggest enemy this state and country faces … china

    Reply this comment
  8. Acapitalistpig
    Acapitalistpig 4 January, 2014, 19:56

    How is it that the highest tax state in the nation can concurrently claim (via its tax free zones) that lower taxes are desirable? Either you believe lower taxes stimulate growth or not. Can’t have it both ways NY.

    Reply this comment
  9. Dancquill
    Dancquill 6 January, 2014, 16:22

    It is interesting that liberal states love and preach high taxes, then whenever they face a reaction to them… businesses are enticed by promising them lower taxes or even exemptions from them. Most times, liberals will not even discuss lower taxes as having any beneficial effect. The Laffer curve explains the effect well. Liberals then cover their eyes, and ears, but not their mouths faced with it’s truth. Nice to see that NY libs don’t actually believe what’s been coming out of their mouths. Sad to see it doesn’t bother them a bit to mouth what they know not to be true.

    Reply this comment
  10. Dancquill
    Dancquill 6 January, 2014, 19:15

    I wonder if Obama will adopt this idea to stimulate the US economy… Just kidding. He can’t even mention it. Nor will the liberal media ask him.

    Reply this comment
  11. Harold Church
    Harold Church 8 January, 2014, 13:47

    I cann’7t understand what’s keeping them here the legislature ,EPA ,hsus and the anti gun movement have taken away every thing that was good about this state. I returned to Ca. to be close to my friends and family and enjoy the hunting and outdoors I enjoyed while growing up here. I left in 1981 for Wash. And as a private contractor I found more work than I could handle at twice the profit and half the regulations and taxes . I came here to retire and invest after 12 years my retirement funds are draining faster than expected and local investments are hard to find.with the future of the fish and hunting being run by the hsus and the ament gun groups. Ca. should be sued for advertising it as a vacation wonder land. The only wonder hear is what any body see’s in this place of unfriendly Aristocrats. Signed lost boy hood dreams.

    Reply this comment

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