Republican Assemblyman Gary Finch who represents portions of Cortland, Cayuga, and Onondaga counties has renewed his call for suspension of the Start-Up New York initiative after an audit found millions worth of adverting for the program produced few results.
A recent review by the State Comptroller’s Office found “no tangible results” generated by the $211 million taxpayer-funded marketing campaign for the Start-up New York business program.
Start-up is one of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s signature economic development programs.
Start-up NY looks to utilize college campuses tax-free designation to encourage business growth. Qualified businesses that locate on or near campus receive the benefit of paying no property taxes. In addition employees of those companies pay no state income tax.
Finch says, “At this point, it would be hard to overstate what an abject failure this program has become,” said Finch.
“When Republicans reference excessive spending, this is precisely what we’re talking about. When we discuss the merits of smaller government, these are precisely the disasters we are trying to avoid.”
Advertising for the program was featured prominently during the Governor’s re-election campaign last year.
Finch took offense with the governor’s decision to ramp up Start-Up New York advertisements during his re-election bid. “I think it was clear to anyone with a passing interest in media or politics that the governor used Start-Up NY television spots as backdoor campaign advertising,” said Finch. “While not technically illegal, the brazen and self-serving ploy of using voters’ hard-earned tax dollars to deceive them with propaganda is one of the shoddiest I’ve seen since I took office.”