With much of the area's high hopes pinned on medical, technological and scientific development, it's easy to support a push by Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand and Rep. Brian Higgins to expand tax credits for research and development.
They, along with Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown, recently made that point while touring the Honeywell Specialty Materials plant in the city. And when thinking about the global competitive market, it's an easy point to make. Research and development is a cornerstone of much of the expectations in this area.
The lawmakers have a plan to make permanent the federal tax credit for companies engaged in research and development. To be sure, it would be a better alternative to the previous 14 temporary extensions. Gillibrand made the case concisely: When extensions are temporary, "A business can't count on it."
Indeed, it's hard to imagine a business making a significant investment without knowing whether the federal tax credit will be available going forward.
Or, consider the estimate by the senator and Higgins that a $7.5 billion investment and 162,000 jobs would result nationally if Washington makes the credit permanent, with more than 80 percent of the credit paying salaries of researchers.
Gillibrand wants to expand the current credit, simplify the complicated and confusing application process and make the new credit permanent.
Should the 112th Congress follow through on this significant proposal, research firms already in this area and others interested in establishing will not only have more incentive but more security.
Expanding the tax credits for research and development has huge potential benefits for the entire nation.