Support for the city’s Industrial Business Zones, or IBZs, has steadily dwindled since former Mayor Michael Bloomberg created 16 zones in 2006 to help manufacturing businesses flourish with a combination of zoning protections, tax credits and city funding. The number of zones swelled to 21 over the last 9 years, but the $4 million that was once allocated for them has all but disappeared, and in his state of the city address, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that he’d like to put workforce housing in IBZs.
In a move to protect IBZs, the City Council has proposed $1.4 million in baseline funding—which would guarantee the same measure of financial support every year—in its recently-released budget response, a level that Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito argued would allow industrial businesses to plan for the future with greater certainty. In last year’s budget the City Council provided $830,000 for IBZs and the administration $578,000, for a total of $1.4 million in non-baseline funding.
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