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Budgeting for Bio and for Business

   All is not gloomy on the state budget front, though.
   The state grant that helped out Luther Forest came from a balanced 2005-06 state budget that was passed on time for the first time in 20 years. That budget included a tax cut package of more than $155 million in business tax reductions, tax credits for biotech projects and R&D and tax credits for environmentally-friendly buildings. That last sector was illustrated recently by the grand opening of a $9-million LEED Gold Certified distribution center in Rochester by PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division.
   The state has also changed to a single sales factor tax policy, and it has expanded its Empire Zone program to include 12 new zones at the same time that it has put in place stronger auditing of that program to ensure job creation pledges are met.
   Finally, in keeping with the Business Council's wish list, the budget created the New York Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation, designed to further regional economic development partnerships that will accelerate commercialization of research institution discoveries.

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