January 28, 2011

Gillibrand Announces New Proposal To Spur Innovation And Job Creation In Westchester

County Executive Robert Astorino, Senator Suzi Oppenheimer, Mike Oates, President and CEO of the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation, Larry Gottlieb, Director of Economic Development for Westchester County and Dr. Joan Fallon, CEO of Curemark Highlight Importance Of R&D For Region’s Economic Future

Rye, NY – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced a new proposal to spur innovation and job creation in Westchester County. At Curemark, Senator Gillibrand detailed a new proposal to expand, simplify, and make permanent the Research and Development Tax Credit. With leading research institutions, cutting edge businesses, and highly-skilled entrepreneurs, New York is poised to lead America’s high tech economy. More than 2,000 New York companies could take advantage of the R&D credit. Making it permanent could increase private investment in R&D by more than $7.5 billion across the country.

“My number one focus is on creating good-paying, family-supporting jobs,” Senator Gillibrand said. “By supporting research and development, we can help our businesses become more competitive and create the high tech jobs of tomorrow. Our state is already home to the universities, businesses, laboratories, researchers and the bright minds we need for long-term economic strength. This proposal would leverage more private investment in our high-tech sector, creating good paying jobs right here in Westchester.”

“Our county’s workforce is one of the best in the nation,” said Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino.  “The role of government is to provide an environment that allows businesses to thrive and create jobs.  Making tax credits simple and permanent will provide an important incentive for attracting and retaining businesses in Westchester and help local businesses like Curemark to grow and expand.”

“Biotechnology is one of the most promising areas for job creation, innovation, and economic growth,” said Congresswoman Nita Lowey (NY-18).  “The federal government can help promote this growth through research and development tax credits and incentives for companies to expand.  With its highly trained workforce and top-notch schools and health care facilities, the Lower Hudson Valley is an ideal place to serve as a hub of high-tech research and development.”

Senator Suzi Oppenheimer said, “I’m pleased to join Senator Gillibrand this afternoon and applaud her for providing New York businesses with the tools they need to lead the nation in technological innovation and development.  Her legislation will bring billions of dollars in new investment and create desirable new jobs in high tech industries here in Westchester and throughout our state.”

"R&D is the backbone of innovation and job creation,” said Mike Oates, President & CEO of the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation. “The innovative companies here in Westchester County and the rest of the Hudson Valley will benefit from Senator Gillibrand's proposal, and these expanding companies will be able to hire more workers. The senator helped us launch NY BIOHUD VALLEY last fall, and expanding the R&D credit would propel further growth in this important industry.”

“As the CEO of a small biotech company, Senator Gillibrand’s initiative is extremely important to us”, states Dr. Joan Fallon CEO of Rye’s Curemark. “By supporting cutting edge research in the biotechnology field, and thus allowing for innovation, these R & D tax credits will help to defray the costs of  basic research and clinical programs. The costs of clinical programs can be prohibitive to the small biotech companies. The tax incentives can help defray those costs, especially in the form of grants, for pre-revenue companies similar to those given by IRS in the most recent Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project (QTDP) initiative grants given by IRS. We at Curemark are extremely grateful for the Senator’s leadership on this issue.”

Expanding the R&D Tax Credit would create more than 162,000 jobs nationwide, according to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. More than four-fifths of the cost of the credit is spent directly on wages for researchers. 

Senator Gillibrand’s proposal would not only create R&D-based jobs, it would encourage companies to plan for the future, investing in new ways to streamline their processes and upgrade their products.

Senator Gillibrand’s proposal would:

  1. Expand the current credit by changing the formula to provide greater incentive for companies to increase investment
  2. Simplify the current credit, which is highly complicated and confusing.
  3. Make the new credit permanent, which would provide private companies with the confidence they need to make significant future investments in R&D.

The R&D Tax Credit has been extended 14 times by Congress, but has never been made permanent, making it difficult for companies to make plans based on the support and investment from the program. Additionally, the current process for claiming the credit is very complicated.  The proposal pushed by Senator Gillibrand would make the credit permanent to maximize its benefits for domestic economic growth, and simplify the formula for claiming the credit to make it accessible to more companies, matching 20 percent of a company’s increased research expenditures. 

Thirty years ago, the U.S. was the global leader in providing tax incentives for private investment in R&D, but now the U.S. ranks 17th in the world among developed countries. Senator Gillibrand’s proposal would expand America’s effort to leverage R&D investment to support long-term economic growth. 

Before the economic recession, R&D investment was already on the rise in New York. From 2003 to 2007, New York’s research and development sector grew by 16 percent, creating a 28 percent increase in investment to a total of $10.9 billion in 2007, according to the National Science Foundation.