Albany, NY – The Assembly today passed Industrial Development Agency (IDA) reforms that will for the first time require IDAs to have transparency and accountability standards when public money is used for economic development. The bill was passed by the Senate on Wednesday.
IDA reform was identified as one of the NYS AFL-CIO’s key initiatives in its “Making New York Work” campaign launched in December of 2013.
“We commend and thank Speaker Heastie, Majority Leader Flanagan, Senator Marchione and Assemblyman Magnarellii for working with Comptroller DiNapoli to pass these important IDA reforms,” said Mario Cilento, President of the New York State AFL-CIO.
“Reforming the IDA process has been a priority for the Labor Movement for many years. These reforms will bring IDAs back on course to their initial goal, which is to stimulate private sector investment in communities and ultimately create solid middle-class jobs,” Cilento added.
The bill will require IDAs to do a better job of gathering projected job data and performing cost benefit analysis before tax dollars are used for project financing or tax exemptions. Businesses that receive financial assistance or tax exemptions from IDAs will be required to adhere to standard application forms, uniform evaluation criteria and project agreements that will help to ensure taxpayers and the local economies truly benefit when taxpayer dollars are used for economic development.
Perhaps most important, the reforms establish a process that allows local governments to recoup their investment should businesses fail to meet job creation and other economic development promises.