Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Empire Zones

The Syracuse Post-Standard follows up a report on Empire Zones with this editorial:
Beware of the consequences of good intentions. That could be the watchword for New York's Empire Zone program, which staff writers Mike McAndrew and Michelle Breidenbach have been examining for five months.

Empire Zones were created a half-dozen years ago to bring jobs and economic development to hard-pressed areas. Things haven't always worked out that way. Alert lawyers and accountants found and exploited loopholes. Some companies discovered they could simply change their names and qualify for tax breaks. Others failed to keep their job-creation promises.
. . .
Gov.-elect Eliot Spitzer says he's long been skeptical of Empire Zones but wants to hear more. Spitzer doubts much can be done about past deals, since the rules didn't include money-back guarantees.

The Post-Standard's ongoing investigation should help bring the incoming governor up to speed on Empire Zones as he charts his course.

As the Governor-elect prepares his budget, Albany Catholic suggests our readers contact their state legislators to insist that the Empire Zone program either be fixed or eliminated. You can read more here.