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Local officials exploring the state’s new Start-Up program

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Business and community leaders are trying to figure out how Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s tax-free proposal will work for entrepreneurs who start businesses near Jefferson Community College.

The program, Start-Up NY, will let new businesses operate almost tax-free. They will be exempt from property, sales and business tax for 10 years. They must locate within three miles of a college or university.

Donald W. Rutherford, CEO of the Watertown Local development Corp., said the governor “is pushing” for the program to be implemented at all 57 state two- and four-year schools, including JCC.

But local officials, who recently met to discuss the program, are still trying to figure out how to proceed.

“There’s a lot of questions to be answered,” Mr. Rutherford said, adding they have to identify locations where the tax-free program can be used in Watertown.

Trade businesses, technology companies and some type of agricultural businesses will qualify, but tourism-related firms will not, organizers said.

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