In tomorrow’s The Journal News and on LoHud.com, Tax Watch will take a look at industrial development agencies, specially created government entities that foster economic development by providing companies with tax incentives.
The front-page package looks at the growing use of IDA incentives, the thousands of jobs they create and the high costs communities incur for those job creation efforts. The deals, however, are not always successful and some companies end up cutting jobs or leaving New York for other states. Opinions also differ as to whether the agencies are effective or necessary.
IDAs are the primary economic development engines in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam. Essentially, for certain companies looking to relocate to the area and others looking to expand their presence here and create jobs, IDAs are empowered to provide them with temporary exemptions from sales, property and mortgage recording taxes.
The state and local governments willingly forgo a portion of the taxes they could collect from a company in exchange for that company agreeing to remain in the area and expand or to move to the area.
Officials with Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties’ 10 IDAs – county-run agencies in Westchester, Putnam and Rockland and municipal IDAs in Yonkers, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, Port Chester, Mount Pleasant, Peekskill and Southeast – say the incentives given to companies are necessary for New York to stay competitive with other states. Though tax revenue to municipalities and the state is reduced, the increased business investment — more employees, larger plants, renovated properties — lays a foundation for long-term economic growth, they said.
However, state authorities and advocacy groups are more closely monitoring IDAs and calling for changes in how they operate.
Read the story in tomorrow’s Journal News and the Tax Watch page on LoHud.com – http://www.lohud.com/section/NEWS15/Tax-Watch.