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Limited link seen between jobs, NY tax breaks

ALBANY — New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said his latest analysis of industrial development agencies shows little connection between job growth and the nearly $500 million in tax breaks provided by IDAs operating in municipalities statewide.

DiNapoli said more than 4,000 businesses received the tax breaks, but that IDAs realized 22,000 fewer jobs last year than the year before while using the economic development tool.

“Taxpayers are not getting enough bang for their buck when it comes to IDAs,” DiNapoli said. He says that’s particularly true in high-cost areas such as Long Island and the mid-Hudson Valley.

A state law created the IDAs in counties, cities, towns and villages statewide to attract and retain jobs. The decisions on which companies to provide the tax breaks typically rested on boards appointed by local politicians often out of the public eye. Since the system was created decades ago, IDAs have been hit by scandal, although countless jobs have been attracted and retained by the agencies.

In his report released Tuesday, DiNapoli said the average job secured by an IDA cost taxpayers more than $2,500 in tax breaks. He says that’s a 9-percent increase over the previous year.


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