Albany overlooks Rochester region's priorities

By MARK S. PETERSON • February 7, 2014

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has repeatedly stated his desire to make New York “open for business” in an effort to stimulate the economy and create jobs. I applaud him for proposing a reduction in our corporate tax rate as well as eliminating the corporate income tax for our upstate manufacturers. The development of the regional economic development councils has also served as a catalyst for aligning local leaders around necessary economic development initiatives to grow the Greater Rochester economy.

However, it’s evident that Albany does not share our local leaders’ optimism and support for significant priority projects that could transform the Greater Rochester region’s economy. Priority projects such as the Science Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park, Eastman Business Park Fermentation Cluster and Finger Lakes Business Accelerator Cooperative were conspicuous by their absence from the recent round of regional council award funding and from the proposed 2014-15 executive budget.

It’s unconscionable that the governor would overlook our region’s priority projects and the thousands of associated new jobs. To realize the economic benefit, these projects require a fraction of the money given to other regions of the state for unspecified future projects.

Our leaders in Albany have the opportunity to dramatically change the economic landscape and fortunes for thousands of residents in the Greater Rochester region, but funding for these projects must occur immediately or this opportunity will be lost.

Mark S. Peterson is president and CEO of Greater Rochester Enterprise.

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