100 Ideas for New Paltz

75. use the industrial and commercial incentive board to create green collar jobs

Posted in environment, green building, local economy, planning and construction by Jason West on June 11, 2009

Utliize the Town’s Industrial and Commerical Incentive Board to draw green collar industries to New Paltz.

The ICIB is created pursuant to Section 485(b) of the New York State Real Property Tax Law.  The basic responsibilities of the ICIB are to set the terms of property tax reductions and incentives to attract business to the community.  In legalese, this translates to the followng, taken from section 485(b) linked above:

(b) The industrial and commercial incentive board shall present a plan to the appointing local legislative body concerning the various types of business real property which should be granted eligibility for an exemption pursuant to subdivision one of this section. Such plan shall make recommendations concerning the applicability of the exemption to specific sectors and subsectors, as defined in the North American Industry Classification System published by the United States Government. Such plan shall also make a recommendation as to whether the exemption be computed as provided in subdivision two or twelve of this section. In addition, such plan shall identify specific geographic areas within which such exemptions should be offered. In developing the plan required by this paragraph, the board shall consider the planning objectives of each municipality within which such exemptions may be offered, the necessity of the exemption to the attraction or retention of such business and the economic benefit to the area of providing exemptions to various types of businesses.
(c) In addition, the board may make recommendations to the appointing local legislative body with respect to actions it deems desirable to improve the economic climate therein.

It would take a bit of research to figure out how to target green industries in particular, but I believe this would be feasible under the general principle of Home Rule Law that localities may make laws more restrictive than enabling legislation, but not less restrictive.  For example, the State of New York protects wetlands of one hectare (12.4 acres) or larger.  So a municipality may pass laws that supercede state law to protect wetlands that are smaller than one hectare, but may not pass  a law superceding state law to eliminate protection of wetlands altogether, or that only mandates protection of wetlands larger than one hectare.

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