Yet critics are right to draw parallels between this program and the failed Empire Zone endeavor that merely rewards companies with creative accounting departments. Start-Up NY is written to include only new businesses creating new jobs, but history has shown lawmakers have difficulty keeping up with creative lawyers when there’s money on the table.
And then there are the philosophical difficulties. Why, after all, should the state roll out a shiny red carpet for a young, unproven startup when a homebuilder who has been paying taxes on time and in full for decades could be given relief and the opportunity to expand? Why couldn’t existing employers be given a chance to hire back some of their workforce by way of a tax break?
It’s a timely question, as our nation readies its Fourth of July celebrations. It’s an event in our country’s history that was in part predicated by unfair taxation – an extra burden was placed on some so that others could enjoy a lesser one.
Of course, we think it unlikely business owners here in New York will rush to the harbor to start chucking tea into the ocean. It seems far more plausible they’ll be forced out of existence along with the jobs they currently provide us.