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START-UP NY Draws tech firm

Henrietta, N.Y. -- Tax incentives and intellectual capital helped lure a Connecticut technology firm to Rochester.

Datto is set to open an office at an old bank building on Franklin Street in Rochester later this summer.

The firm was founded by a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology and specializes in storing data in what is called a hybrid cloud, according to a company representative.

"If a disaster strikes like Storm Sandy and your system gets wiped out, or somebody spills coffee on a sever and the data is gone, we get you back online almost instantly," said Paul Sagar, non-executive chairman.

Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo visited RIT to announce Datto's arrival. The firm plans to hire 77 engineer and customer service workers, Sagar said.

"Today is all about welcoming a new business to New York by lowering taxes," Cuomo said.

RIT President Bill Destler said the tax incentives helped seal the deal, but Datto, which employs 30 RIT graduates, already had an eye on Rochester.

"We looked for a place where we could first hire really, really compelling technical talent, well trained and where we could do it economically and find good space," Sagar said. "You put those two things together, and this was a great, great opportunity."

START-UP NY is the latest tax incentive program offered by the state to firms that locate or relocate near college campuses or properties. Tax breaks are given to companies for 10 years.

Cuomo was asked whether START-UP NY creates a disadvantage for companies unable to relocate near colleges and universities.

"We won't invite a company that is competing with an existing company in that area," Cuomo said. "Those companies aren't allowed to participate in the program because it would be unfair.

Cuomo's Republican Challenger for the governor's seat, Rob Astorino, released the following statement:

"Governor Cuomo is using $150 million in tax dollars to spread a mistruth about New York's business climate in order to help himself get re-elected. It is one of the grossest examples of misused tax dollars in modern history.

"The truth is that New York ranks dead last 50th in America in economic outlook under this governor and 48th in business climate. We are the highest taxed state in America, and we were just rated the worst state in America in which to retire, largely because our nation-leading property taxes.

"Governor Cuomo has done none of the hard work necessary to actually make this state economically competitive again. He may think he is pulling the wool over the eyes of New Yorkers with these ads, but the truth is that New Yorkers are voting with their feet in record numbers. It's why New York also leads the nation, under Mr. Cuomo, in people fleeing a state."


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Washington Times