IDAs beat back Cuomo’s proposal in budget

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A proposal by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to strip the state’s industrial development agencies of their authority to provide state sales-tax breaks wasn’t included in the final budget plan set to be adopted by the state Legislature this week.

Cuomo proposed the state take a larger role in the oversight of the IDAs, which are run on the county level and have been criticized for operating outside of the public view.

Under Cuomo’s budget proposal, the projects the IDAs could approve would have been limited. They also would have been required to go through the state’s regional economic councils for state sales-tax rebates.

But the plan, opposed by local governments, was taken out of the final budget plan.

“We think this is a much-improved outcome,” said Brian McMahon, executive director of the state Economic Development Council.

There are some changes to the IDAs, however. The budget would require more reporting requirements for IDAs to the state Department of Taxation and Finance. They would also be limited in the tax breaks they could provide to retail outlets.

Another change would allow the state to clawback any state sales-tax revenue that is recouped by an IDA from an under-performing business.

The state’s industrial development agencies doled out $5.6 billion in tax breaks to local projects between 2008 and 2011, a report earlier this month from the state Authorities Budget Office found.

The number of new projects increased from 208 to 253 between the two years, the report said.

 

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2 Comments

  1. North of the Hutch on

    Funny that most of their projects don’t involve anything remotely resembling something “industrial”.

    The tax breaks I’ve seen doled out are solely for residential development and usually pit 1 NY community against another while driving up taxes for those not getting abatements so what’s the point?

  2. Jackson Davies on

    IDAs for the most part are sweetheart deals for a firm or an industry that contributes to a political campaign to get their way.
    A lousy few thousand dollars of contributions gets back millions in business breaks and freebie gains. And the promised jobs turn out to be pipe dreams