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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Greg Biryla
Unshackle Upstate announced support this afternoon for the second prong of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's economic development plan referred to as the "2015 Opportunity Agenda."

Greg Biryla, executive director of the taxpayer group said, "As the leading voice for Upstate taxpayers and businesses, we’re very encouraged by Governor Cuomo’s ongoing commitment to revitalize the Upstate economy. This $1.5 billion proposal, modeled after the successful Region Economic Development process, will help promote job growth and strengthen the Upstate economy."

"Advancing an economic development strategy that relies on the expertise of local stakeholders is a smart and sensible approach," Biryla said. "We look forward to seeing each region’s plans in the coming months."

The plan, announced by Cuomo earlier today, will create a competition in seven upstate regions, each competing for one of three $500 million upstate revitalization funds. Those regions are: Mid-Hudson, Capital Region, Mohawk Valley, Central New York, North Country, Southern Tier and Finger Lakes. Western New York is not a listed region.

The plan was based on the success of the "Buffalo Billion" competition, which was available only to Western New York businesses.

The Upstate New York Economic Revitalization Competition follows a plan unveiled by the governor on Wednesday that called for a $1.66 billion property tax credit program aimed at middle class homeowners and renters. Unshackle Upstate panned that plan, saying that it only shifted the burden of taxes rather than getting to the core of the tax problem, which it says is unfunded mandates.

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