The “Getting Our Money’s Worth” coalition organized by the Alliance for a Greater New York (AlignNY) has published its annual “Key Facts About IDAs” report, and it doesn’t speak well about the Empire State’s 114 Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs).
Highlights from the report:-
- $182 million in IDA tax breaks went to companies that cut jobs, failed to create any new jobs, or didn’t promise to create any jobs.
- Over one-half of all projects that ended in 2010 failed to create a single job.
- IDAs continue to maintain high spending while state and local budgets are slashed.
- Local governments are increasingly picking up the tab for corporate tax exemptions.
The statement put out by the group says that it amounts to “a widespread failure of New York’s main economic development tool to meet job creation goals.”
The amount of money spent that has produced neither jobs nor a promise of jobs has gone up from 25 percent in 2009 to 38 percent in 2010. Nearly half of the projects (48 percent) lost jobs or failed to create them in 2010, as compared to 38 percent in 2009. This wasted money would have been enough to retrofit 33,000 homes in New York, leading to savings worth $33 million in energy costs and creation of 3,000 jobs in the construction sector.
Most shocking is the statistic that of the 31,325 jobs that were supposed to be retained by projects ending in 2010, only 118 net jobs were retained.
The IDAs were granted net tax exemptions worth $483 million in 2010. More importantly, the local government share of exemptions for projects has been rising steadily since 2003 and is now at 88 percent for 2010. Most of this comes right out of the mouths of the local school boards. For every dollar in net tax exemptions given to an IDA, schools lose 41 cents.
The state obviously does not agree with these claims and the thrust of the report. Brian McMahon, executive director of the Greater New York State Economic Development Council, tells Albany Watch that the report “is neither factual nor does it reflect even the remotest understanding of the role played by IDAs in economic development in their communities.”
Read the full Key Facts About IDAs report – Download (pdf)