February 20, 2014

Economic development initiatives updated

PLATTSBURGH — Space at Plattsburgh International Airport or even the former Pfizer facility in Chazy could qualify as tax-free Start-Up NY businesses.

Intended to foster economic development and job growth, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s initiative allows firms to align with an academic institution and locate in designated areas.

Incentives include an exemption from business or corporate state taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, franchise fees and state personal income taxes for qualified employees for up to 10 years.

“Not everybody will qualify for Start-Up NY,” Keith Tyo, executive assistant to SUNY Plattsburgh President John Ettling, said during a presentation at a recent North Country Regional Economic Development Council meeting.


To qualify, a business must be a new start-up company, a company from out-of-state that is relocating here or an existing company here that will expand.

Tax-free zones on SUNY campuses can include vacant space in campus buildings, as well as land on campus.

The initiative also allows up to 200,000 square feet of vacant space or land within 1 mile of campus. 

Tyo said space is available at the airport in Plattsburgh and at Northstar Technical Center, the former Pfizer research facility in Chazy. 

The latter could qualify, he said, as the university conducts classes at nearby Miner Institute. Also, waivers are possible from Empire State Development, he said, if that isn’t enough of a connection. 


Each college has to develop a plan to be approved by SUNY, its Research Foundation and Empire State Development.

The proposal includes what space would become tax-free zones and what business sectors the school would seek to attract.

Tyo said SUNY Plattsburgh has crafted a draft plan naming possible sectors, among them health care, accounting and supply-chain management. 

At Clinton Community College, the focus could be on advanced manufacturing and biotechnology. 

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