When Albany plays venture capitalist by Ken Girardin | | NY Torch

Governor Andrew Cuomo last week announced a new "Innovation Venture Capital Fund" to invest up to $50 million in public funds into start-up companies. Meanwhile, the state’s existing venture fund, known as Innovate NY, is the subject of a federal audit focused on a firm whose managing director was named by Cuomo to his 2010 gubernatorial transition team and to a regional economic development council.

“Tonight”: your tax dollars at play by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

An article in The New York Times today touts NBC’s “significant investment” in a state-of-the-art studio at 30 Rockefeller Center for “Tonight” and its new host, Jimmy Fallon.

But the article never mentions who’s footing a chunk of the bill for Tonight’s move back to New York from California: the taxpayers of New York State.

Casinos in context: much ado about … not much by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

A huge majority of New York City residents believe it’s likely the non-Indian gambling casinos authorized by Proposal One on next week’s ballot will bring in “significant new revenue for New York state and local governments”—including a full one-third who think it’s “very likely” that casinos will be a big money maker, according to a New York Times-Siena poll released today.

Block that acronym! by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

The (apparently) agreed-upon version of Governor Cuomo’s “Tax Free NY” proposal includes a new name for the thing: “SUNY Tax-free Areas toRevitalize and Transform UPstate New York,” or START-UP NY.

Cuomo’s “tax-free” fever by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

It’s “big”! It’s “bold”! It “could really make a difference“! It’s Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Tax-Free NY proposal, subject of some of the biggest, boldest gubernatorial rhetoric since … well, since Cuomo’s launch two weeks ago of round three of the state Regional Economic Development Councils, which in turn came on the heels of a resort gaming destination plan in early May, neither of which should be confused with the “new day” proclaimed by the governor at last year’s yogurt summit.

First thoughts on “Tax-Free NY” by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

The one promising new wrinkle in the upstate economic development plan unveiled today by Governor Andrew Cuomo is the offer of full (if impermanent) exemptions from state business and personal income taxes, as well as sales taxes, to firms that expand into designated Tax Free Zones at colleges, universities and “strategically located state-owned” properties.

Top state court upholds corporate welfare by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

New York’s highest court has just ruled—not for the first time—that Article VII, Section 8.1 of the State Constitution does not mean what it seems to say in prohibiting gifts and loans of state money “to or in aid of any private corporation or association, or private undertaking.”

More heedless aid to capless schools by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

Just when it looked like New York's free-spending public schools were finally about to meaningfully tighten their belts, news came from Washington yesterday that the U.S. Senate had cleared the way for another $26 billion dose of "stimulus"...
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