LIU Post vying for START-UP NY tax-free zone

LIU Post is shown in Brookville on April LIU Post is shown in Brookville on April 14, 2013. Photo Credit: Ian J. Stark

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LIU Post Tuesday could become the first private college on Long Island to win approval for a campus tax-free zone for businesses under Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's START-UP NY program.

A three-member state board is expected to consider LIU Post's application during a meeting in the state Capitol.

Up to 300,000 square feet of office space and land can be designated START-UP NY zones for private universities in Nassau and Suffolk counties. There aren't similar restrictions for public colleges.

The zones are designed to attract unique and growing companies by offering no state and local tax bills for up to 10 years. Employees of the businesses would also pay no state income taxes for up to 10 years.

LIU Post wants to house its 6,700-square-foot zone in a mansion on its campus off Northern Boulevard in Brookville.

Michael S. Glickman, Post's chief of strategic partnerships and university advancement, said participation in START-UP NY would "support and advance our mission of sharing knowledge and resources with our surrounding communities."

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Among Long Island's other private colleges, a spokeswoman for Hofstra University said it was "drafting" its START-UP NY application, while a New York Institute of Technology spokeswoman said the Old Westbury campus would be included in its application.

The START-UP NY Approval Board grants private colleges entry into the program. Public colleges use a process that culminates in approval by Kenneth Adams, president of Empire State Development, the state's business-aid agency.

The approval board consists of Andrew Kennedy, Cuomo's economic development secretary; Edward Cupoli, a former economist at Albany University and for the state Assembly's Democratic majority, and Abraham Lackman, a former budget official for state Senate Republicans and former president of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities.

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The first tax-free zone on Long Island, 172,500 square feet, was granted to Stony Brook University in March. Since then, Stony Brook has recommended to state officials that at least two startups be given space there.

Another zone was approved in July for Farmingdale State College. Spokesman Patrick Calabria said the amount of space was still being determined but would likely go to bioscience companies, particularly those needing so-called "wet" laboratories.

Suffolk County Community College plans to file an application Sept. 6, said spokesman Drew Biondo, adding the tax-free zone would be in a proposed building in Wyandanch and on 62 acres of vacant land across from the Selden campus.

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