DiNapoli: Audits Reveal Problems With Local IDAs – Dutchess, Greene and Putnam County IDAs Examined

Source: New York State, Office of the State Comptroller, Press Release, March 4, 2014

Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs) in Dutchess, Greene and Putnam counties granted questionable tax incentives and failed to enforce job creation goals, according to audits released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. DiNapoli renewed his call for better accountability for IDAs and urged the State Legislature to consider his proposed IDA reform legislation. …

Dutchess County IDA
– Ten of the 21 businesses receiving IDA benefits failed to meet employment goals. Job creation fell short of agreed upon benchmarks by nearly 1,400 jobs;
– IDA officials were not aware of a $49,000 underpayment of a PILOT fee because it did not monitor payments billed and collected by taxing jurisdictions; and
– None of the PILOT agreements reviewed contained a recapture clause that would allow the IDA to recover certain benefits should companies fail to meet project goals.

Greene County IDA
– Four of ten businesses receiving IDA benefits failed to meet employment goals and one did not comply with job reporting requirements;
– The IDA entered into contracts in which it is suspected that board members had prohibited conflicts of interest; and
– IDA officials did not conduct a formal cost-benefit analysis during the application process to determine if approved businesses would provide an appropriate return on investment.

Putnam County IDA
– Several project applications that were approved for IDA benefits failed to include necessary information for determining if the projects would be beneficial to taxpayers;
– The IDA board was not adequately monitoring the performance of businesses receiving benefits to determine if employment projections or other goals were being met; and
– Businesses receiving IDA benefits failed to file required reports regarding capital investments and sales tax savings. …

…DiNapoli also renewed his call to increase the accountability and improve the efficiency and transparency of IDA operations. The Comptroller has submitted a legislative proposal that seeks more accurate disclosure of project employment information, uniform applications for projects and more objective project evaluation and selection criteria….
Related:
Putnam County Industrial Development Agency Management Practices- Report of Examination Period Covered: January 1, 2012 — May 3, 2013
Source: Office of the New York State Comptroller, 2013M-257, March 2014

Greene County Industrial Development Agency Management Practices- Report of Examination Period Covered: January 1, 2011 — September 4, 2012
Source: Office of the New York State Comptroller, 2013M-95, March 2014

Dutchess County Industrial Development Agency Management Practices- Report of Examination Period Covered: January 1, 2012 — May 31, 2013
Source: Office of the New York State Comptroller, 2013M-251, March 2014