BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Facing a deficit this year, the governor's initial budget proposal not only did not extend the state's historic tax credits but proposed delaying payments for at least three years for some projects already using them.
"Messing with these credits really destabilizes the marketplace and really could put a chilling effect on more projects happening in downtown Buffalo, in downtown Rochester, Syracuse, etc," state Senator Chris Jacobs, R-Buffalo, said.
Members of the Western New York delegation and local developers immediately pushed back, holding a press conference in opposition in February.
"We need to know that when we start a project and we count on tax credits, that we're going to have them at the end of the project," developer Rocco Termini said during the press conference.
Jacobs said his colleagues in Albany were like-minded. In the final budget, they extended the credits through 2024, rejected deferred payments and decoupled the state program from new federal rules that spread payments out over five years instead of one.
"We pushed back on it, both houses, the Assembly and the Senate, bipartisan effort to say this program has been very, very effective. Projects like this just would not have happened in Buffalo and other places throughout our area if these credits were not in place," Jacobs said.
He said the bipartisan push-back bodes well for the long-term viability of a program which has spurred more than $700 million in private investment in Western New York over the last decade.
"Whoever came up with the idea in the governor's administration, I think heard loud and clear from many in Upstate New York, again from the Senate, from the Assembly, that this was a bad idea. This is one of the programs that is really working well. It's generating an immense amount of private sector investment," Jacobs said.