Governor Andrew Cuomo; AP Photo
By Jon Campbell, Albany Bureau
ALBANY -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed budget Tuesday continues funding for his regional economic-development program while moving forward with plans to create 10 tax-free "hot spots" for burgeoning industries.
Cuomo's $136 billion spending plan calls for a state-backed, $50 million venture capital fund and outlines plans for a marketing program meant to boost the state's tourism and locally grown products.
Much of Cuomo's economic-development plan was already laid out in his State of the State address on Jan. 9, but his budget plan reveals how much they will cost.
Cuomo proposes allowing each of the state's 10 Regional Economic Development Councils to nominate an "existing or newly created" technology incubator.
Of those, five will be designated "Innovation Hot Spots" in each of the next two fiscal years, and businesses that locate in the incubators would be exempt from state sales and business taxes.
In order to get the "hot spots" up and running, Cuomo proposes spending $1.25 million initially and $5 million as the program continues. But the state would also be on the hook for lost tax revenue from the businesses participating in the program.
Cuomo's $50 million "NYS Innovation Venture Capital Fund" would provide seed money to help fund newly created businesses within the state.