Do Tax Incentives Cause Sprawl?

Advocacy groups in New York state are calling for reforms to the Empire Zone program, including better reporting of tax breaks to lure businesses and making zones more compact.
April 26, 2004, 11am PDT | Connie Chung
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According to many advocacy groups in New York state, including the Sierra Club, "[s]tate officials have warped New York’s popular Empire Zone program, initially aimed at getting businesses into poor areas, into an engine for suburban sprawl...." Critics of the Empire Zone program say that in some areas "developers are asking for Empire Zone status to build new facilities in rural or suburban locations that don’t have water or sewer lines....The Sierra Club and other critics said development should instead be steered to depressed areas that already have water and sewer lines." One assemblyman asserted that although depressed areas should get priority, the "wealthier ones shouldn’t be excluded" especially if that flexibility creates jobs. According to a spokesperson for Governor Pataki, the governor has proposed many of the same reforms as the advocacy groups.

Thanks to Connie Chung

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Published on Friday, April 23, 2004 in Democrat and Chronicle
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