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Robert Altman is a registered lobbyist with the City of New York and represents two trade association as their lobbyist for City government. Having worked in City government for ten years, Robert is familiar with the machinations and bureaucracy that comes with dealing with government agencies and the legislative and regulatory process. Robert is a pro-business lobbyist, so if you are seeking lobbying services that are against these interests, Robert will not take the engagement even if such engagement is not a conflict of interest.


Because of his government experience, Robert is knowledgeable on tax incentives on a number of levels. The following provides a VERY general overview of a number of the incentives available to business.


City government benefits are divided into two types: as-of-right and discretionary. With an as-of-right benefit, as long as you meet the criteria for the program, you receive the benefit. With a discretionary benefit, you might meet the criteria for a program, but the City still reserves the right to deny benefits (and this is most often done early in the process). There are four primary as of right benefits with City government that each last at least five years and one that is just one time only.


  1. The Industrial and Commercial Abatement Program provides a real estate tax incentive for renovations or new development. The level of benefit depends on the nature of the project, whether it is industrial, commercial, or retail (and mixtures of this group). Click on the following link for more details on this program.

  2. The Commercial Expansion Program provides a real estate tax incentive but only to a tenant for new, renewal and expansion leases of up to $2.50 per square foot. Click on the following link for more details on this program.

  3. The Energy Costs Savings Program provides a discount to your regulated utility bill of 45% for non-heating electricity costs and 35% for non-heating gas costs. Click on the following link for more details on this program.

  4. The Relocation Employee Assistance Program provides a $3,000 tax credit per employee off the local corporate tax (or unincorporated tax) for businesses relocating from outside NYC or Manhattan south of 96th Street to Long Island City. Click on the following link for more details on this program.

  5. The Industrial Business Zone tax credit provides industrial businesses only with a tax break of $1,000 per employee or their moving expenses (whichever is less), up to $100,000, for moving into an industrial business zone.


The City offers discretionary benefits on a number of fronts.


  1. The Industrial Development Agency offers a host of benefits for industrial, commercial and even retail projects, including low-interest financing for industrial projects. If you have a complex project this program offers a more sophisticated array of benefits.

  2. The Business Incentive Rate program also reduces energy costs and can be used in conjunction with the Energy Costs Savings Program. This program is offered by both IDA and Con Ed.

  3. Training grant programs are also available so you can improve the skills of your workers through NYC Business Solutions, which can also assist you with recruitment.


Transitioning to the State I am also going to mention three tax credits, one city, and two that are city and state, and these credits are industry specific.


  1. There is a NYC Biotech income tax credit of up to $250,000

  2. There are film income tax credits available from the City and the State.

  3. The State administers a sales tax exemption for manufacturers, which is good both on the City and State levels.


On the State level, there are some discretionary benefit programs that also include tax credits. These are available through the Excelsior Jobs Program, which is available both to industrial and commercial business who are creating jobs. Excelsior includes investment tax credits and payroll tax credits.


There are a host of energy efficiency programs offered by NYSERDA, whether you are doing new construction or renovation and Con Ed often helps out with these as well. Whether you are constructing new or renovating, and whether you are large or small, whether you are industrial, commercial or retail, when starting a project, first check with NYSERDA.


The Feds offer incentives too. The most common form of federal assistance is with financing from the US Small Business Administration, either through the 504 loan program or the 7(a) loan program. And these programs are available for retail, industrial or commercial businesses. The Feds also allow for accelerated depreciation through the Internal Revenue Code section 179, but this is more an accounting maneuver than a program. However, the Feds also offer credits for hiring certain types of disadvantaged employees, such as those with disabilities, but these workers must be pre-qualified. The State’s VESID program does this and there are various non-profits and the State Department of Labor that can assist you with this.

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