Release from Miner for NY: Miner: Eliminate Empire State Development

This post was originally published here.

From Miner for NY:

Miner: Eliminate Empire State Development

Independent candidate for governor Stephanie Miner has proposed abolishing Empire State Development Corporation.

“New Yorkers are surrounded by actual evidence that the Empire State Development bureaucracy and its programs are abject failures,” Miner said.

  • More than 1 million people have left New York State since 2010, more than any other state.
  • Employment Upstate has grown by only 2.7% during Cuomo’s tenure, compared with 16% in NYC and 11% nationally.
  • If Upstate NY were a state, its job growth would rank 4th worst in the country, behind Mississippi.
  • 47,500 net new jobs have been added Upstate during Cuomo’s tenure and 88% of them have been in low-wage sectors. 
  • The W.E. Upjohn Institute found that NY’s tax incentives were the most expensive and second-least effective nationwide.

“The State should not be in the business of picking winners and losers and should not be granting benefits to one set of developers, while long-standing small businesses are put in a competitive disadvantage,” said Miner.

From the Buffalo Billion to the Syracuse Film Hub, Empire State Development projects have not lived up to their promise. The recent convictions of developers on shows how these closed-door deals paved the way for wrongdoing.

Miner would also end the Regional Economic Development Councils, known for their “Hunger Games” competitions that force cities to compete for funds. This is just old-fashioned pork barrel spending that rewards vested special interests and pits regions against each other. 

Many of the members of the councils, charged with steering grants to worthy applicants, are campaign donors and recipients of grants themselves.  

“What New York State has done is give cotton candy grants and said this will be transformational. All we’ve seen in return is people leaving this state, gold-plated failed projects, and corruption convictions,” Miner said. 

The state spends approximately $8 billion on economic development every year. This includes $420 million for film tax credits.  

Miner’s Plan 

Here’s what we will do instead to make New York a place where businesses want to create jobs. 

Invest in infrastructure. Companies count on us to provide the best possible environment for them to do business. They need roads that aren’t marked with potholes. They need bridges not in danger of collapsing. They need a reliable power grid. They need clean, ample water supplies. They need workers who take public transit to get to their jobs and arrive on time. They need high-speed, affordable internet.  

“We became the Empire State by building these systems and letting the free market come in and use our infrastructure to create jobs,” Miner said.
State Takeover of Medicaid. New York State pushes the cost of Medicaid onto localities. Property taxes are an extreme burden on homeowners, and the problem has been made worse by the elimination of the SALT deduction. In some Upstate counties Medicaid expenditures account for more than half of the property tax levy. 

Miner will be releasing a plan with a consolidation of Medicaid payments where the state takes over the local share of Medicaid and mandates the savings gets returned to property tax payers. 

“New Yorkers deserve relief. The property tax cap doesn’t go far enough. People are still in shock when they see their property tax bills,” Miner said.

We can start the state takeover of Medicaid in Upstate counties, where residents pay far more in property taxes as a percentage of home values.

“There’s no doubt that we can find a way to return this money to taxpayers. I’m committed to reducing New York’s bloated bureaucracy and cutting out wasteful spending,” said Miner. “By dramatically reducing property taxes, we’ll stem the tide of people leaving the state and be more welcoming to businesses.”