Empire Zone (EZ) Incentives

**No longer available, as of 6/30/10**




The Broome County Empire Zone includes portions of the Town of Union (including the Villages of Endicott and Johnson City), City of Binghamton and the Town of Kirkwood.  The Empire Zone program offers incentives designed to attract new business and retain existing businesses.  Businesses making investments and/or creating new jobs are eligible for Empire Zone certification.


 Certified Empire Zone businesses in the Town of Union (including the Villages of Endicott and Johnson City) maybe eligible for the following *incentives:


  1. Wage Tax Credit:  A wage tax credit is available for up to five consecutive years for each new full-time or full-time equivalent job created.  The credit is $1500 for each new employee and $3000 for each new-targeted employee.
  1. Low Interest Loans:  Empire Zone Loans may be available through the Statewide Zone Capital Corporation  (SZCC) loan funds.


Other loan assistance may be available through the Town of Union Economic Development Department/Local Development Corporation by contacting Joseph M. Moody at (607) 786-2945.


  1. Sales Tax Refund:  This refund applies to both State and County sales tax paid on purchases of building materials used only in renovation and/or new construction of commercial or industrial buildings in the zone.  Full refund of sales tax paid on building materials only. The entity that makes the purchase is the entity that must file the claim.
  1. Sales Tax Exemption:  For entities EZ certified prior to April 1, 2009, with the QEZE sales tax exemption certificate already in place, an exemption from the State’s portion of the sale tax on nearly all taxable purchases of tangible property and services is available through August 31, 2009. Beginning September 1, 2009, a QEZE possessing an EZ retention certificate will no longer be eligible for exemption. Rather, the exemption converts to a refund, and the QEZE will be required to pay the sales tax and file a claim for a refund to NYS. Claims for a refund can be made only once a sales tax quarter. For a QEZE certified on or after April 1, 2009, the sales tax refund of the State’s portion of the sales tax on nearly all purchases of tangible personal property and services will only be permitted if the local municipality allows for the refund of it’s sales tax as well. Broome County has not consented to the refund of its sales tax on taxable purchases of tangible personal property and services.
  1. Real Property Tax Credit:  A Qualified Empire Zone Enterprise (QEZE) may claim a credit for real property taxes paid based on a formula that considers job creation, wages and benefits or investments made in the Zone. Further limitations may apply depending on zone and/or business type. PILOS are eligible if held directly by the QEZE (not a holding company). Lessees may qualify if the lease agreement specifically states the lessee is responsible for paying the real property taxes, and the lessee can prove payment with a receipt from the taxing authority. This credit is available for 10 years and unused credits may be obtained as a cash refund in the year they were earned. For businesses EZ certified on or after April 1, 2009, the real property tax credit will be 75% of the amount calculated pursuant to the statute.
  1. Tax Reduction Tax Credit:  A Qualified Empire Zone Enterprise (QEZE) may claim a credit against New York State (NYS) corporate, personal income, banking or insurance corporation taxes based on employment increase. This credit is computed by formula based on four factors: the percent employment increase in the Zone; the Zone allocation factor, the income taxes owed by the company and the benefit factor. The tax reduction credit may reduce the company’s tax liability to zero if the company is located entirely within NYS Empire Zones, or as low as the fixed dollar minimum if located both inside and outside the Zones. There is no carry-over or refund provision with this credit.
  1. New York State Electric & Gas:  NYSEG offers a discounted rate on the demand charge. As of January 2009, the discount is approximately $1.90/kwh.  NYSEG must be notified prior to adding new load or prior to activation of a new account. Contact NYSEG Customer Service at 800-572-1111.  **Please Note : NYSEG incentive was eliminated as of January 1, 2010**
  1. Investment Tax Credit (ITC):  This credit is available to companies making an investment in the zone for depreciable property and/or equipment principally used in manufacturing, processing, assembly, industrial waste treatment, air pollution-control facilities, R & D or financial institutions. 10% of the eligible investment can be taken for credit (8% for personal income tax filers including S corps and partnerships). An additional Employment Incentive Credit equal to 30% of the investment tax credit is available for each of the three years after the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is claimed if employment is increased when the investment is made.
  1. Verizon Discount:  Five percent will be deducted from your monthly phone bill.  This applies to your basic service fee and regional calls only. This benefit is applied for after a business becomes Empire Zone Certified.
  1. 485-e Real Property Tax Abatement:  A local property tax abatement on the increased assessed value attributable to capital improvements on real property constructed, altered, installed or improved in an Empire Zone.  The amount of the exemption will be 100% on the increase in assessed value for the first 7 years and gradually decreases in years 8, 9, and 10. The property must be located in an Empire Zone, but Empire Zone Certification is not necessary to apply for this incentive.  Must apply directly w/Town of Union Assessor.

For more information, contact Joseph M. Moody, Town of Union Economic Development Director at (607) 786-2945 or to apply for Empire Zone Incentives, call Margaret Scarinzi, Empire Zone Coordinator at

(607) 778-6001  (Updated 3/11/2010)


*Incentives are subject to change.