Empire Zones Program Attracts New Businesses

New York State’s Empire Zone program was created to stimulate economic growth through a variety of State tax incentives designed to attract new businesses to New York State and to enable existing businesses to expand and create more jobs.

Today, there are over 8,780 certified businesses employing more than 344,397 people in 85 Empire Zones statewide. Empire Zones expire in June 2010. The $520 million program has 9,200 members.

Zone-certified businesses are eligible to apply for these benefits:
- Wage Tax Credit: Available to companies hiring full-time or full-time equivalent employees in the zone. Unused credits can be forwarded indefinitely. New businesses are eligible for a 50% refund of unused credits.
- Investment Tax Credit: Available to companies for investments made in the zone for depreciable property and/or equipment principally used in manufacturing, processing, assembly, industrial waste treatment or air pollution-control facilities, R&D or financial institutions. The credit is 10% of the eligible investment (8% for personal income tax filers). Unused credits can be forwarded indefinitely and new businesses are eligible for a 50% refund of unused credits.
- Employment Incentive Credit equal to 30% of the investment tax credit is available for each of the three years after the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is claimed if employment is increased over the year prior to when the investment is made.
- NYS Sales Tax Refund: A refund available for the purchase of building materials used in the construction or renovation of industrial or commercial property located in a zone.

- Companies located in areas designated as Empire Zones.
- Companies outside the zones that obtain “regionally significant project” designation by showing they will make specified capital investments or create a specified number of jobs

- Local Empire Zone Boards must sponsor businesses for certification.
- Criteria for certification include review by the NYS Department of Labor.
- The Commissioner of the Department of Economic Development is the sole authority to certify and decertify Empire Zone firms.
- Once certified, a business may qualify to claim the tax benefits indicated a when filing its annual tax returns with the State Department of Taxation. Finance and by completing sales tax forms.  

Tel: 00 1 (518) 292-5240 ESD Empire Zone Office
Local Empire Zone Coordinators
Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07