PLATTSBURGH — Dannemora Town Supervisor Americo “Ves” Pivetta hopes Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Tax-Free New York initiative becomes a reality.
“I know there are a lot of Canadian companies that would love to come to the United States, and the more incentives we can give them, the more attractive a place like Lyon Mountain could be,” Pivetta said.
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The governor’s plan calls for alleviating all state taxes for 10 years on new businesses setting up shop on or near State University of New York campuses across Upstate. State income tax for employees of those businesses would also be suspended for that length of time.
The plan also designates 20 other properties that would be included in the program. At a visit to SUNY Plattsburgh Thursday, Cuomo said those 20 sites could include closed prisons, such as Lyon Mountain Correctional Facility in Dannemora and Camp Gabriels in Franklin County.
The initiative is designed to attract business to Upstate, which has long struggled economically.
In a 26-minute talk, Cuomo told area business and government leaders that the state has driven away businesses and residents with high taxes and strict regulations over decades.
“We are chasing people away from Upstate New York,” Cuomo said.
“People are not leaving because they want to; they are leaving because they have to. We have to undo what we did that created the issue.”
The prison in Lyon Mountain closed in 2011, and Camp Gabriels closed in 2009.
The 26-acre property in Lyon Mountain, which includes 18 buildings, will be put up for sale at auction later this summer.
With a minimum bid price set at $140,000, Pivetta believes the site can be of use to someone.
“I’m sure there will be interest in that property, and we can use all the tools we can get from the state to make it more attractive,” he said.