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It sounds good when NY says no

It sounds good when NY says no

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It's a desperate customer who is willing to trade $700 in tax credits next year for $165 now.

But multiply by a million and that is what GlobalFoundries recently asked the state to do, according to a report this week by James Odato in The Times Union.

GlobalFoundries has already collected $665 million in cash from the state to build its chip factory.

The state rejected the company's tax-breaks-for-money request, but it makes you wonder about GlobalFoundries.

Can the company's massive plant in Saratoga County run at a profit, without a state subsidy?

Is there a secret life expectancy to this project, coincident with the number of years the state's subsidies make it profitable?

Does the company intend to squeeze every dollar it can out of New York, then head back to headquarters in Abu Dhabi?

Listen to Travis Bullard, company spokesman, responding to Odato: "Whether or not we build out the site will be a business decision based on various considerations, including customer needs and the state's ability to continue to partner with us."

What a convenient notion of "partner" he has. New York is a partner when it comes to putting up money to build and operate the plant.

Profits, however, will not be shared. Those, GlobalFoundries will pocket.

The list of gifts we the people of New York have given to GlobalFoundries does not end with foothills of cash.

We built a two-lane, 1.6-mile, $22 million bypass at Round Lake to accommodate the plant.

We ran a 27-mile, $67 million water line through Saratoga County to supply the plant.

In myriad ways, we have already overpaid for this plant, but that hasn't stopped company executives from trying to wring more out of us.

They have sought property assessment reductions, which would mean less money for the local school district. They have sought, and received, breaks on sales taxes, which mean less money for local municipalities.

The one encouraging aspect of this story is New York officials said no to the company's tax-breaks-for-cash plea.

No is a word public officials should offer at every opportunity to GlobalFoundries and any other company seeking such deals.

By bearing much of the up-front cost of this project, New York has assumed its risk, leaving the profits, if any, for GlobalFoundries. That's a deal anyone would take and New York should never have offered.

Will Doolittle is projects editor of The Post-Star. He may be reached at will@poststar.com or followed on Twitter at @trafficstatic.

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