ALBANY – When compared to all other Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs) across New York State, the Chautauqua County IDA gave away significantly more tax breaks and also spent significantly more money in administrative expenses for each net job the county gained in 2016.
That’s according to data released Friday by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
The report, which focuses on financial and employment statistics for IDAs across the state (county, town, city, and village IDAs), showed there was a total of 208,700 net jobs gained in New York through various IDA projects across the state, with Long Island achieving nearly 25 percent of the statewide total. IDAs in upstate regions accounted for 43 percent of the total net jobs gained. In Western New York, IDAs helped the region gain 19,700 net jobs, or 9.4 percent of the statewide total.
However, Chautauqua County’s IDA projects in 2016 resulted in just 319 net jobs gained in the county. That accounts for just 1.6 percent of the total net jobs gain for the entire WNY region.
In addition to jobs gained, the report also offered information on net tax exemptions provided by all of the state’s IDAs. During 2016, $715 million in net tax exemptions were given out. Meanwhile, total expenses for all IDAs in New York was $125 million.
When compared to other 57 county IDAs across the state, the Chautauqua County IDA ranked 40th out 57 in the category of net jobs gained, yet ranked 5th out 57 when it came to expenses.
The report showed that Chautauqua County IDA expenses were $4.6 million in 2016. The Net Tax Exemptions given out in the county were $7.9 million, ranking it 16th out of 57 county IDAs in the state. The total project count was 41, ranking 18th.
Put another way, the Chautauqua County IDA spent $14,400 and provided $24,700 in tax breaks for each net job gained in 2016.
For comparison, all IDAs in New York State spent $600 and provided $3,425 in tax breaks for each net job gained during the same time period. In Western New York, all IDAs spent $700 and provided $2,990 in tax breaks for each net job gained.
Bottom line, the county spent significantly more and gave away significantly more tax breaks for each job gained, compared to the state average.
The Chautauqua County IDA executive director in 2016 was Kevin Sandvidge, who remained at the helm through last year. It saw a change in leadership earlier this year with the appointment of Mark Geise as Executive Director.
“IDA projects continue to produce new jobs across the state, but the pace has slowed in several upstate areas,” said DiNapoli. “Across New York there are nearly 4,500 IDA projects valued at $96 billion currently underway. In today’s economy, it is important communities benefit when offering tax breaks. Our report can help determine if the incentives supporting local economic development efforts are worth it.”