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DiNapoli report: IDA-backed job gains increased in 2014 compared to previous year

ALBANY, N.Y. — Projects that New York state’s industrial development agencies (IDAs) supported produced nearly 36,000 additional jobs in 2014, an increase of 18 percent from the prior year, the latest state data shows.

That’s according to a report that New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli issued Wednesday.

It is DiNapoli’s 9th annual report examining the performance of the state’s IDAs and how these agencies work to attract, retain, and expand businesses in their communities.


Job-gain comparison
IDA projects in 2014 reported a total of 645,010 full-time jobs, which reflects an increase of 235,888 jobs over the life of these projects, at a median cost of $1,882 per job gained.

The 235,888 figure was up 18 percent over the cumulative job gains of 199,943 in 2013, with the median cost per job gained of $2,095.

The state’s 109 active IDAs in 2014 provided $1.1 billion in total tax exemptions, according to DiNapoli’s report.

At the same time, $483 million in payments-in-lieu of taxes partially offset these exemptions, leaving the total net exemptions for the year at $632 million, a decrease of $28.5 million, or 4.3 percent, from 2013.

The five IDAs with the largest job gains in 2014 included New York City with 48,859 jobs; Suffolk County with 13,817; Monroe County with 12,038; Oneida County with 10,476; and the Town of Amherst in Erie County with 10,227.

IDAs are an “important catalyst” for economic development statewide, DiNapoli contended in the release.

“But as the value of tax exemptions to private businesses continues to increase, taxpayers must be reassured that their community is receiving promised benefits. Thankfully, my legislative proposal to increase transparency and scrutiny of IDAs was signed into law last year and will result in better evaluation of the economic impact they are having in New York,” he added.

DiNapoli in 2015 crafted legislation he said would improve the process by which IDAs approve new projects, the quality of the information they gather about the projects, and policies for recapturing financial assistance if companies don’t meet project goals.

The new law, developed with support from the New York Economic Development Council, becomes effective on June 15.

Other findings
DiNapoli’s report also found that the 4,581 projects that IDAs supported in 2014 were valued at $83.7 billion, up 9 percent over 2013.

At 27 percent, manufacturing as the “most common purpose” of IDA-sponsored projects in 2014, DiNapoli’s office said.

The report also found Western New York’s 804 IDA-sponsored projects was the highest number of any New York region in 2014.

Regional data shows IDAs in the Mid-Hudson Valley ($136.7 million), Long Island ($131.5 million), the Capital District ($92.3 million), and New York City ($75.7 million) granted the highest amount of tax exemptions.

Total expenses for IDAs in 2014 equaled $102.6 million, an average of $950,000 per agency, the report found.

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