The Excelsior Jobs Program was introduced in New York State during September 2010 by then Governor, Patterson. The Excelsior Jobs Program replaced the Empire Zone Program in offering significant income tax credits to qualifying New York State businesses. During Governor Cuomo's inaugural address this January, he vowed to expand this program. The program upgrade and revisions have been recently released as of May 2011.
The Excelsior Jobs Program provides job creation and investment incentives to firms in targeted industries such as biotechnology, pharmaceutical, high-tech, clean-technology, green technology, financial services, agriculture and manufacturing. The program encourages firms to expand or relocate to New York while monitoring the firms to make sure they deliver on job and investment commitments. The Program focuses on the growth and expansion of the high-tech and clean energy jobs of tomorrow, while supporting the manufacturing sector that remains the backbone of our economy. Firms in these industries that create and maintain new jobs or make investments are eligible to apply for four new credits.
The Program will be administered and applications will be approved by Empire State Development (ESD.) ESD, with multiple locations throughout the state, will issue certificates to approved taxpayers annually, entitling them to claim eligible credits. Upon submission of the application, ESD will calculate the maximum potential tax credits over a ten year period based on the applicant company’s plan for expansion or growth.
Excelsior offers four new fully refundable tax credits, all available for a 10 year period:
- The Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit - a refundable tax credit of 6.85% of wages per new job created.
- The Excelsior Investment Tax Credit - a refundable credit equal to 2% of the cost of qualified investments. Generally, a qualified investment is depreciable property with a useful life of four or more years located in New York and placed in service on or after the date ESD issues an eligibility certificate to the taxpayer.
- The Excelsior Research and Development Credit - a refundable tax credit equal to 50% of the Federal Research and Development Credit for research expenditures in New York.
- The Excelsior Real Property Tax Credit - this refundable credit is available to businesses located in designated distressed areas of the state (generally, zones formerly designated as Investment Zones under the Empire Zones Program) or to businesses meeting higher employment or investment standards (Regionally Significant Project.) The credit is equal to 50% of the property taxes assessed and paid in the year prior to a taxpayer’s application to the Excelsior Program and the credit decreases by 5% each year following thereafter, for ten years.
In addition to income tax credits, the Program also authorizes utilities to offer discounted gas and electric rates.
The cap on program costs has been increased to $500 million annually and firms will be granted the credits only after they have met the annual program requirements. Eligibility is discretionary and is based upon projected long term growth, job creation and expansion in New York.
To find out more about The Excelsior Jobs Program visit: http://www.esd.ny.gov/BusinessPrograms/Excelsior.html
Please contact your Marcum LLP Tax Professional to learn how to enroll and qualify for this important tax incentive Program as soon as possible.