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Letter: Taxpayers footing bill for Start-Up NY perks

Taxpayers footing bill for Start-Up NY perks

A recent article in The News talks about a startup company heading to Buffalo to take advantage of the tax-free programs set in motion by our governor. Let’s start at the beginning. The already wealthy owners got a grant from U.S. taxpayers to start their new business. Now they plan on building low-cost computer tablets in Buffalo to sell in Third World countries cheaply. No matter how wonderful the story is spun – they want to “help kids in Kenya” and their “workers to have a meaningful life” – the fact that their production workers will make “a little more than minimum wage” is unbelievable.

The owners get tax-free everything for 10 years – no property, sales, real estate, state or local taxes – and their workers do not pay taxes on their incomes up to $300,000, given mostly in tax credits, according to the Start-Up NY website. Low-wage workers often qualify for heating assistance, food stamps and other programs paid for by state taxpayers.

I am sorry, no matter how wonderful and noble the cause, we taxpayers are footing the bill. How does this benefit our state? Start-Up NY, without any provisions to pay living wages, is just corporate welfare at its finest. While these companies get a free ride for 10 years, the rest of us pay. Welcome to New York, the corporate welfare state!

Diana J. Butsch

West Falls