On Sunday Tax Watch examined the Lower Hudson Valley’s multimillion-dollar industrial development agencies, or IDAs, which offer generous tax breaks to companies to draw them to the region or help existing companies expand and create jobs.
Advocates point to the 16,000 new jobs the region’s 10 IDAs reported in 2010 and hundreds of new and expanding companies – including fast-growing Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. They say in the long-run temporary tax breaks on sales, property and mortgage recording taxes will keep New York competitive with lower-cost states, allow companies to make greater investments in the area and expand the tax bases of local communities.
There are county-run IDAs in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam and municipal IDAs in Yonkers, New Rochelle, Mount Vernon, Peekskill, Port Chester, Mount Pleasant and Southeast.
Critics, including state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, question the accuracy of the number of reported jobs and whether such incentives are necessary or effective. Others say the system needs reforms and costs municipalities and schools much-needed revenue.
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