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A Reverse Commute?

Over the past few years, a number of high-profile Long Island companies have taken advantage of tax breaks and tax incentives to leave Long Island and relocate to places like North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Florida.  Often the question has been asked, when will Long Island understand the economics of those moves and become competitive. 
 
In 2010, we saw the trend begin to change.  When Canon USA agreed to move its headquarters from Lake Success to Melville, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer referred to the project as a turning point for Suffolk County.  With that agreement, Canon USA’s 1,200 employees remained on Long Island, and an additional 800 jobs were expected to be created.  In addition, Canon USA received more than $35 million in tax breaks and incentives. The Canon USA situation has been the exception rather than the rule. 
 
But in the past few months, a number of companies have indicated that they are moving on to Long Island.  For example, BioRestorative Therapies recently announced it was moving from Jupiter, Florida to Long Island, and building a 7,000 square-foot facility in Melville after receiving a package of tax benefits and incentives.  Coming on the heels of Adecco Group announcing it was moving it North American headquarters from Melville to Jacksonville, and about 180 jobs as well, this comes as welcome news.  It shows that Long Island is, again, competitive.
 
When Hain Celestial decided to move from Melville to Lake Success, it ignored the advances of other states such as Colorado and New Jersey.  In staying on Long Island, Hain Celestial secured tax credits or approximately $4.5 million from New York State and kept 400 jobs on Long Island.
 
Let’s hope this becomes the norm rather than the exception. 

Eric Altstadter CPA is an Audit Partner with over 30 years of experience working with public companies and privately held businesses. He is the Editor-in-Charge of the firm's SEC Trends & Developments newsletter and a member of NY State Society of CPAs.

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