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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

State Senate candidate Adam Haber calls for $5B state surplus to be used for "business hubs"

Democrat Adam Haber, who is running against Sen. Jack M. Martins (R-Mineola) for state senate, recently unveiled his proposal for how the state should spend the $5 billion windfall generated from recent bank settlements.

Haber, a restaurant owner and venture capitalist said on Tuesday that the state should use the money to create “business hubs” that would attract startup companies and spur development in “overtaxed areas like Nassau County.”

“Nassau has the talent and the location to be a center for job creation, but the crushing blows of high property taxes and lack of tax incentives from Albany have hurt our small businesses,” Haber said in a news release. “We have a unique opportunity to reinvest in our community. Let’s use this surplus money to build a business-friendly environment that will create jobs here in Nassau for decades to come, allowing more families to move here, stay here, and thrive here.”

Haber, an investor in Hicksville-based Canrock Ventures, which finances tech startups, said the “business hubs” would attract “new or growing businesses” by offering office space and potential seed money. The startup companies or “business incubators” would be “surrounded by cultural attractions ranging from restaurants and bars to theaters and art galleries, which would also be eligible for funding and financial incentives."

The hubs would be located in “places like Mineola and Hicksville, which are major transit hubs, and Great Neck, which would benefit from its proximity to New York City,” Haber said.

The state is receiving billions of dollars in surplus money following a series of lawsuit settlements with major banks, including a $3.3 billion settlement with BNP Paribas to end a money-laundering probe and an $800 million settlement with Bank of America over its role in the housing crisis.

Senate Republicans released a plan in July for how they propose some of the settlement money should be used, including calls to eliminate a series of tax and fee increases and plans to invest in road, bridge and sewer repair projects.

Asked to respond on Haber’s proposal, Senate GOP spokesman Scott Reif said : “Adam Haber is an out-of-touch rich guy who doesn't know the first thing about balancing a budget or creating jobs for hardworking people.”

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