New York – Legislature Approves Start-Up NY Program

SALT Report 2610 – The New York Legislature has approved the SUNY Tax-Free Areas to Revitalize and Transform Upstate New York program (START-UP) which provides corporate franchise, sales, and property tax exemptions to start-ups, venture capitalists, and new businesses.

As previously reported in SALT Report 2536, the START-UP New York program will create tax-free areas around the State’s colleges and universities. The tax-free areas will include designated vacant land or space on the campus of SUNY schools and community colleges. Under the program, businesses will be virtually exempt from all taxes for 10 years, for example:

  • No corporate income and personal income taxes on business income,
  • No sales and use taxes on tangible personal property and services purchased by businesses,
  • No real property taxes on property owned by a college or university, and
  • Employees working in a qualified business will be authorized to claim a 100% personal income tax deduction for wages earned from the business in the tax-free area

Qualified areas include SUNY schools and community colleges outside of Long Island, New York City, and Westchester County. Plus an additional 200,000 square feet of property located within a mile of a campus will be eligible. Property outside the one-mile radius of the campus may be eligible if it receives approval from the state Department of Economic Development.

At SUNY schools and community colleges located in Westchester County, New York City, and Long Island, tax-free areas will be limited to on-campus projects. Any businesses locating in the tax free areas must to be high-tech/bio-tech or start-ups.

Finally, up to three million square feet of property will be eligible for the tax-free area designation at private colleges, including 75,000 square feet per county in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties and each of the five boroughs of New York City.

Businesses will not qualify if they compete with existing businesses in the community that are not within the tax-free area.

This Bill has been sent to the Governor for his signature.

For Further Information

New York Senate – Press Release

Senate Bill 5903