Shortly after 2:00 p.m. this afternoon, both sides presented their case in front of the NYS Court of Appeals. We were actually able to listen to a Live Webcast of the proceedings and it was quite interesting to listen to both sides. The video will be available online next Monday; we will post a link for those that are interested.
Fifty (50) taxpayers, represented by Attorney Jim Ostrowski, sued the state, its Urban Development Corp., Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. and six companies, including IBM and computer chip maker Global Foundries.
Earlier today, the Observer Dispatch ran a short story on their website, New York Group Challenges grants to business; however, this story could affect the Mohawk Valley more than the six (6) sentence story in the Observer Dispatch might lead one to believe.
If some of these names in the lawsuit sound familiar, they were recently in the news...High hopes for high tech: 450 more jobs promised for Marcy.
Stargazette.com, an online newspaper owned by Gannett, reported in their story, Updated: NY group challenges government grants to business:
Global Foundries said it is building a $6.8 billion semiconductor factory in upstate New York, expected to employ more than 1,500 people. The state Legislature has approved $650 million for costs associated with research and development, funded by bonds issued by the Empire State Development Corp.The article goes on to say:
The company argued that those bonds are separate and don't involve the state's general fund.Another online news source, BuffaloNews.com, reports in their story...Court hears arguments in suit challenging state subsidies for business:
"Even if the grant to Global Foundries was funded by the state, the grant was not a 'gift' in any sense of the word," attorney Harold Iselin wrote. "The ESDC is authorized by state law to provide financial and technical assistance to promote job opportunities, urban renewal and economic
The group says Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is continuing the corporate subsidy program done by generations of governors. They are zeroing in on his recent deal with IBM, Intel and others in which $500 million will be steered through the state university as part of a nanotechnology package based in the Albany area.
Ostrowski said such subsidies -- whether indirectly made through the state university or direct, such as the $600 million to a chip manufacturing facility near Saratoga Springs -- all violate the state constitution.
This should be interesting...we will keep you informed.