Wednesday, April 09, 2008


ALBANY is looking to kick River Radiology out of the NYS Empire Zone.

As many as 26 companies are being reviewed by the Empire State Development Department, which handles the Empire Zone program. The Kingston company is part of this first aggressive step by ESDD to weed out companies getting tax breaks without compliance with required paperwork.

The companies recently received notice that their Empire Zone benefits, such as breaks on property and sales taxes, will be revoked by the state. According to the Poughkeepsie Journal: River Radiology is among those who have not responded to requests for information from the state regarding their job projections or capital investments.

Taken from Gannett News Service: The EDZ program offers tax breaks to companies that locate in areas targeted for development. Critics say the initiative - which costs the state about $600 million in tax breaks each year - has been exploited and has encouraged sprawl without creating the jobs to justify the tax breaks.

The Empire Zones Started in 1986 to help development in poor urban areas. There are 82 zones in the state with about 9,800 businesses employing 380,000 people receiving tax breaks and other subsidies.

Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, D-Greenburgh, one of the harshest critics of Empire Zones says: "This program should be shut down," "It is not working, it is in effective.”

Regarding River Radiology, I would have to disagree with the Assemblyman on the count that this may be an example of a Economic stimulus that brought in a large employer who then became a success story. River Radiology received about 20% discount in property taxed from 2003-2005 and have since been contributing the full amount assessed. Full commercial taxes, increased employment, and decent pay….sounds like a success to me.

Our own Economic Czar Steve Finkle said: “During the course of several months, River Radiology Accountants have not returned correspondence regarding the Business Annual Report (BAR) which the state expected a while ago” “If this constitutes a lack of performance, I think we have a good record in the Empire Zone, having only one of these companies on this list since it’s inception, If it’s because they don’t need the program, that’s even better”.

River Radiology - Home

1 comment:

Robb Kinnin said...

As a member of the Kingston/Ulster Empire Zone Administrative Board, I have been a part of many discussions concerning the viability of the program overall.

Cathy Maloney who recently left Kingston is/was one of the best program coordinators in the state. That being said, we can thank Cathy, Mandy and Steve for the hard work throughout the year that the program brings to the table.

I do not think its wrong for the state to mandate a once a year report from certified businesses telling us how the business has faired. The reporting does not take long to fill out - perhaps even shorter with a CPA doing it too.

Overall, and especially in Kingston, it would be shame if the State dissolved the EZ program because of a few bad [certified] businesses or Zones. In other words, do not throw the baby out with the bathwater.