Bill to Reform IDA’s Will Be Re-Introduced (And It Is Still Needed!)Posted: December 30, 2014
Western NY Assemblyman Sean Ryan intends to re-introduce the JOBS Act–a bill that would make the actions of the state’s Industrial Development Agencies (IDA’s) more transparent.
“IDA members are not elected by anybody, but they give away millions of taxpayer dollars,” Ryan said. “Under the JOBS Act, the IDA members who approve a project must then submit it for approval to elected officials like the town council. And when there’s public scrutiny, big massive projects tend to go away.”
This interesting article from City and State details some of the concerns of folks from Western NY with the Erie County IDA and how it lavishes tax breaks on corporations that could fund their own projects and do not contribute to the public good.
In Syracuse, we see the same problems–the most recent is an exemption from mortgage recording taxes for new hotels being developed in the Inner Harbor. That decision by the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency (SIDA) means the region’s public transportation system, which is partially funded by that tax, will receive nothing. Millions for rich corporations–nothing for a transit system looking at fare increases and route cuts. I guess we know whose side SIDA is on.