The federal government needs to stop states from engaging in "piracy" -- raiding jobs from other states by luring businesses with tax breaks, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Tuesday.
"These companies are being sought after by every state," he said. "If we don't give them an incentive, another state will . . . There has to be some federal answer to this."
Cuomo, who served as U.S. housing secretary in the late 1990s, said a federal regulation was adopted then that prohibits states from luring businesses with federal housing funds. "You can't use federal money to supplement what we called piracy," he recalled.
Cuomo's comment came at a trade summit in Manhattan where he and others wooed foreign investors and company executives to do more business in New York State.
His administration has promoted Cuomo's START-UP NY tax-free zones, which are designed to attract businesses to the state. START-UP NY commercials on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and other networks cost $28.5 million from December 2013 through June, according to records provided to Newsday through the state Freedom of Information law.
Cuomo said New York would not "unilaterally disarm." He said, "If you want New York to stop [giving incentives], you have to stop the other states."
Later, Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino, the Westchester County executive, said the idea of federal intervention was "preposterous" and "gives insight into our governor's economic ignorance."
Astorino pledged to be more aggressive in cutting state taxes than Cuomo has been.