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Several high-tech hubs in Buffalo may be named Start-Up NY tax-free zones

Several high-tech centers now under development in Buffalo are in line to be added to a state program that establishes tax-free zones on and near college campuses, the State University of New York announced Friday.

The state agency that oversees the Start-Up NY program, Empire State Development, has approved the plan submitted by the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering that would create tax-free zones at three sites in Albany and one site in Canandaigua.

The NanoCollege also is overseeing economic-development projects in Buffalo, Syracuse and Utica, and sites in those cities could be included in the program at a later date, SUNY officials said.

The potential NanoCollege Start-Up NY sites in Buffalo include the future home of a clean-energy manufacturing facility at RiverBend in South Buffalo; a drug-discovery center now under construction on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus; and an information-technology hub to be anchored by IBM.

The Start-Up NY initiative, proposed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo last year and later approved by the State Legislature, promises businesses that locate new jobs at a college could pay no state or local taxes for 10 years.

The University at Buffalo already has received approval for 13 tax-free zones, primarily located on or near the medical campus, and SUNY Buffalo State has received approval for one, on-campus zone.