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NY group challenges gov’t grants to business

ALBANY — Taxpayers allied with the Tea Party movement have urged New York’s top court to help them end corporate welfare and require the return of potentially billions of dollars to the state’s taxpayers.

The 50 taxpayers say in their lawsuit argued Wednesday at the Court of Appeals that New York’s constitution prohibits giving state funds to private organizations and makes no exception for economic incentives.

They want the practice stopped and companies to repay grants since their August 2008 lawsuit.

The top court will decide next month whether to let the case continue in the trial court, where a judge initially dismissed it.

Defendants, including IBM and computer chip maker Global Foundries, argue that appropriations for the public purpose of economic development are supported by precedents and don’t violate the constitution.