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Brownfields tax credits in budget debate

ALBANY — One snag in negotiations over the late state budget is Gov. David Paterson’s call to limit tax breaks for big developments on formerly vacant, polluted sites, which the administration will save more than $1 billion.

The Legislature is so far declining to impose tax credit caps at $35 million and $45 million for about 17 approved projects that are not yet complete.

Some environmentalists side with Paterson on this. They call the tax breaks it corporate welfare for companies that don’t need it. Business lobbyists see the proposed change as broken promises. Paterson says the limit will save $1.2 billion.

It’s all part of the state’s brownfields program that provides tax credits to redevelop old, polluted industrial or commercial sites and create new jobs.

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