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New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan urged a renewed focus on Industrial Development Agency reform following the release of the New York State Authorities Budget Office annual report on IDAs. The report from the ABO shows that most IDAs in Erie County are failing to live up to job creation goals. The report details how IDAs statewide have lived up to job creation goals from active projects that were first approved in 2008. The report shows that of the six IDAs in Erie County that have those active projects, only one exceeded job creation goals, only one met job creation goals, and four have failed to meet job goals following the approval of tax incentives. The Amherst IDA still has two active projects from 2008, with tax incentives totaling $698,544. The projects were supposed to create 155 jobs, but only 17 have been created, meaning 138 fewer jobs than promised. The Erie County IDA still has twelve active projects from 2008, with tax incentives totaling $2,959,172. The projects were supposed to create 262 jobs, but 14 jobs have actually been lost, meaning 276 fewer jobs than promised. The Concord IDA still has one active project from 2008, with tax incentives totaling $11,670. The project was supposed to create 15 jobs, but 1 job has actually been lost, meaning 16 fewer jobs than promised. The Hamburg IDA still has one active project from 2008, with tax incentives totaling $8,616. The project was supposed to create 24 jobs, but only 12 have been created, meaning 12 fewer jobs than promised. The Lancaster IDA has exceeded job creation goals for their only active project from 2008, which received $15,634 in tax incentives. The project promised job creation of 2 jobs, but has actually created 13. The Clarence IDA has met the promised job creation for their only active project from 2008, which received $7,459 in tax incentives. The project created its promised job creation of 6 jobs. Statewide, IDAs have 280 active projects from 2008, with $182,847,891 in tax incentives. Those projects promised to create 9,128 jobs, but only 7,487 jobs have been created, leaving a 1,642 job deficit. The state budget, which was passed earlier this year, included new reforms to stop the abusive practices IDAs have been engaging in, said Ryan. The reforms included a ban on giving out tax breaks for retail projects, and gave the Commissioner of Taxation and Finance the ability to audit and investigate the actions of IDAs. The reforms also included clawbacks to recover tax incentives from projects that do not live up to job creation goals. Unfortunately these new reforms will not be active until the CTF adopts the necessary regulations needed to implement the reforms. Today Ryan wrote to the Commissioner, Thomas H. Maddox, and urged the CTF to adopt the necessary regulations as soon as possible, so the new reforms can begin to be implemented. “It is clear from today’s report that the reforms we passed in the state budget this year were necessary, and must be implemented as soon as possible,” said Ryan. “IDAs are simply not living up to their promises of job creation. Statewide, and right here in Erie County, IDAs have made job promises that they have not fulfilled, resulting in wasted taxpayer dollars. The reforms and clawback provisions we passed in the state budget will go along way in ensuring IDA accountability, but we cannot begin to see these reforms implemented until the Commissioner of Taxation and Finance adopts regulations. Our IDAs in Erie County have created a 431 job deficit, and it is now obvious that taxpayers should not be footing the bill for bad tax break deals. We also have to keep in mind that the money we now know has been wasted, could have gone to the state and to the county to help reduce property taxes, and pay for education and other vital services. Every dollar the IDAs waste by not living up to job creation goals, is a dollar not being used to lower taxes or help keep our teachers and police officers employed.” Ryan has called on the IDAs to stop giving away tax subsidies that do little to create good paying jobs that benefit the entire region. Property and sales tax breaks given out by IDAs mean less revenue for every single municipality and school district in Erie County. In addition, tax breaks are often given to businesses that are already planning to expand, as was the case with the Premier Liquor deal in Amherst. IDAs approving tax break deals for donut shops, liquor stores, yoga studios, car dealerships and other retail projects have prompted Ryan to call for reform of New York’s IDA system. Ryan was instrumental is passing new IDA reforms as a part of this year’s budget, and will continue to push for reforms to stop IDAs from making bad deals that waste taxpayer dollars.

New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan urged a renewed focus on Industrial Development Agency reform following the release of the New York State Authorities Budget Office annual report on IDAs.

The report from the ABO shows that most IDAs in Erie County are failing to live up to job creation goals. The report details how IDAs statewide have lived up to job creation goals from active projects that were first approved in 2008. The report shows that of the six IDAs in Erie County that have those active projects, only one exceeded job creation goals, only one met job creation goals, and four have failed to meet job goals following the approval of tax incentives.

The Amherst IDA still has two active projects from 2008, with tax incentives totaling $698,544. The projects were supposed to create 155 jobs, but only 17 have been created, meaning 138 fewer jobs than promised. The Erie County IDA still has twelve active projects from 2008, with tax incentives totaling $2,959,172. The projects were supposed to create 262 jobs, but 14 jobs have actually been lost, meaning 276 fewer jobs than promised. The Concord IDA still has one active project from 2008, with tax incentives totaling $11,670. The project was supposed to create 15 jobs, but 1 job has actually been lost, meaning 16 fewer jobs than promised.

The Hamburg IDA still has one active project from 2008, with tax incentives totaling $8,616. The project was supposed to create 24 jobs, but only 12 have been created, meaning 12 fewer jobs than promised. The Lancaster IDA has exceeded job creation goals for their only active project from 2008, which received $15,634 in tax incentives. The project promised job creation of 2 jobs, but has actually created 13. The Clarence IDA has met the promised job creation for their only active project from 2008, which received $7,459 in tax incentives. The project created its promised job creation of 6 jobs. Statewide, IDAs have 280 active projects from 2008, with $182,847,891 in tax incentives. Those projects promised to create 9,128 jobs, but only 7,487 jobs have been created, leaving a 1,642 job deficit.

The state budget, which was passed earlier this year, included new reforms to stop the abusive practices IDAs have been engaging in, said Ryan. The reforms included a ban on giving out tax breaks for retail projects, and gave the Commissioner of Taxation and Finance the ability to audit and investigate the actions of IDAs. The reforms also included clawbacks to recover tax incentives from projects that do not live up to job creation goals. Unfortunately these new reforms will not be active until the CTF adopts the necessary regulations needed to implement the reforms. Today Ryan wrote to the Commissioner, Thomas H. Maddox, and urged the CTF to adopt the necessary regulations as soon as possible, so the new reforms can begin to be implemented.

“It is clear from today’s report that the reforms we passed in the state budget this year were necessary, and must be implemented as soon as possible,” said Ryan. “IDAs are simply not living up to their promises of job creation. Statewide, and right here in Erie County, IDAs have made job promises that they have not fulfilled, resulting in wasted taxpayer dollars. The reforms and clawback provisions we passed in the state budget will go along way in ensuring IDA accountability, but we cannot begin to see these reforms implemented until the Commissioner of Taxation and Finance adopts regulations. Our IDAs in Erie County have created a 431 job deficit, and it is now obvious that taxpayers should not be footing the bill for bad tax break deals. We also have to keep in mind that the money we now know has been wasted, could have gone to the state and to the county to help reduce property taxes, and pay for education and other vital services. Every dollar the IDAs waste by not living up to job creation goals, is a dollar not being used to lower taxes or help keep our teachers and police officers employed.”

Ryan has called on the IDAs to stop giving away tax subsidies that do little to create good paying jobs that benefit the entire region. Property and sales tax breaks given out by IDAs mean less revenue for every single municipality and school district in Erie County. In addition, tax breaks are often given to businesses that are already planning to expand, as was the case with the Premier Liquor deal in Amherst. IDAs approving tax break deals for donut shops, liquor stores, yoga studios, car dealerships and other retail projects have prompted Ryan to call for reform of New York’s IDA system. Ryan was instrumental is passing new IDA reforms as a part of this year’s budget, and will continue to push for reforms to stop IDAs from making bad deals that waste taxpayer dollars.
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