Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Comptroller: Area residents burdened with tax exemptions

A comprehensive review of the performance of Industrial Development Agencies statewide shows the effectiveness of the agencies is questionable.

The report, issued July 12 by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, indicates that Oswego County’s IDA is not performing on par with a majority of the IDA’s and local development corporations in the state.

“Notably, in several of the counties with relatively large tax exemptions compared to total levy, there were job losses between 2002 and 2009 – including Greene County (tax exemptions at nearly 25 percent of total levy), Niagara County, Oswego County, and Wyoming County (all with tax exemptions exceeding 6 percent of total levy),” the report noted. The high net property tax exemptions for IDA projects results in more of the tax burden being shifted to other taxpayers, DiNapoli said.

“Based on an analysis of the exemption and employment data by county, there does not appear to be a positive correlation between higher tax exemptions and job growth,” the report concluded. “This apparent lack of any positive impact of IDA tax exemptions on job growth reinforces the need for IDAs to provide more and better data on the job creation and retention goals and performance of all IDA projects, so it can be determined if the projects are indeed performing the intended economic development function.

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