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New York’s economic development policies subject of lawsuit
|New York’s highest court will weigh a lawsuit brought by a Buffalo attorney that attacks the state’s system of giving cash and tax breaks to thousands of businesses.|
The lawsuit contends that New York, for decades, has violated the state constitution’s ban on giving “gifts or loans” to businesses, or to support their activities.
The lawsuit argues the state has set up agencies and public authorities, such as Empire State Development Corp. , to try to get around the constitution.
“We’re not particularly interested in grabbing money back. We just want the practice to stop going forward,” said James Ostrowski, a Buffalo attorney who brought the lawsuit in 2008.
The case threatens the core of economic development efforts in the state, a menu of tax breaks, grants, loans or cash incentives intended to spark private-sector activity.
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