If you haven't yet, check out this great article from page 7A of yesterday's Poughkeepsie Journal:
"Comptroller DiNapoli Questions Effectiveness of IDA" by Cara Matthews
[note: see full DiNapoli press release here: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/press/releases/jul11/071211.htm ]
Send a message to all 25 of us in our County Legislature now at email@example.com-- to make sure that we pass a resolution in August strongly urging Cuomo and our state legislature to delay no longer in passing and signing into law the Corporate Accountability and Tax Expenditures Act of 2011 (S.446/A.5920)!...(co-sponsored by state Senators Liz Krueger, Duane, and Parker, and Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh; for much more on this click on these two links:
[note: crucial for you to send in emails to us all now on this; resolution deadline for Aug. mtg.-- today 5 pm!]
[The Corporate Accountability and Tax Expenditures Act would "standardize applications for state development assistance for empire zone assistance and industrial development agency assistance; require submission of certain development assistance agreements to the department of taxation and finance; require recipients of certain development assistance to submit progress reports which include certain information and disclosures; make certain recapture provisions; and define relevant terms."]
For more on this see: http://www.AllianceIBM.org http://www.CVHAction.org http://www.ALIGNNY.org ...
[...and Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation-- http://www.HVALF.org -- and http://www.NYJWJ.org !...]
[recall my past efforts-- http://www.petitiononline.com/statewar ; http://www.petitiononline.com/economy ;
And of course-- perhaps more important than anything else-- call Albany directly-- 877-255-9417!...
[pass it on]
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From yesterday's paper-- http://m.poughkeepsiejournal.com/news/article?a=2011107130331&f=982 ...
Comptroller DiNapoli questions effectiveness of IDAs
By Cara Matthews Journal Albany bureau
July 13, 2011
ALBANY -- Reporting requirements for New York's industrial-development agencies are lacking, and there is no apparent connection between higher tax exemptions and job growth, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a report released Tuesday.
The fourth annual report compares the aggregate net tax exemptions given by the 115 IDAs that were operating in 2009 to the aggregate property tax levy and total job gains or losses by county. IDAs are independent public authorities that attract and keep businesses by providing them with exemptions in property, sales and mortgage-recording taxes and low-interest bonds.
The lack of complete job data makes it harder to evaluate whether projects are meeting their goals, DiNapoli said. Many began before more stringent reporting requirements were adopted a few years ago.
The IDAs operating in 2009 reported that they supported 4,577 projects and gave almost $500 million in net tax exemptions that year. The number of projects funded increased by 106 from 2008, and projects were worth nearly $8 billion more than the year before. The number of employees working for the projects totaled 724,390. The cumulative gain over the life of the projects being backed was 204,172 jobs, the report said. The average cost per job gained was $2,429, down from $3,300 the year before.
There is a lot of good news in the report, said Brian McMahon, executive director of the New York State Economic Development Council. The number of projects and jobs are up and exemptions down. The average cost per job "is an incredibly low number," he said.
ALIGN: The Alliance for a Greater New York, part of the Getting Our Money's Worth Coalition, said it was troubled by the study.
"We need to give our communities the necessary tools to monitor the effectiveness of subsidies and claw back much needed revenue from corporations that fail to live up to their promises," Matt Ryan, executive director of ALIGN, said in a statement.
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On that note-- check out this from http://www.alignny.org/work/getting-our-moneys-worth/ ...
Getting Our Money’s Worth: Campaign Description
Our government spends more than $8 billion dollars a year on corporate subsidies, but these investments too often fail to create the good jobs and community benefits New Yorkers need. Far too often, subsidies are given to businesses that create poverty-wage jobs, no jobs at all, or actually cut jobs. And New York’s complex and balkanized economic development system, which consists of hundreds of state agencies and programs, quasi-private public authorities like Industrial Development Agencies, and Local Development Corporations, does not operate with the accountability and transparency that taxpayers deserve.
With persistent unemployment, wages down and communities struggling, it’s time we get our money’s worth from economic development efforts. A broad coalition of public policy experts, government watchdogs, labor unions, community and religious organizations, and concerned small business owners, workers and taxpayers are calling for change. In this time of economic crisis, we need to reform New York’s economic development entities so they revitalize our local, regional, and statewide economies, make smart investments in industries that build the middle class, allow local communities directly impacted by development a voice in decision-making, and ensure that publicly-funded projects are actually benefiting the public.
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[see below, too-- and let me know if you can stand with me for press conf. soon in Poughk. on this!]
From http://www.alignny.org/posts/press/2011/06/advocates-in-5-cities-hunt-for-the-missing-jobs-plan/ :
ADVOCATES IN 5 CITIES HUNT FOR THE MISSING JOBS PLAN
Release Date: June 21, 2011
Statewide Search Results In Call To Improve New York’s Economic Development Efforts
East Greenbush, Central Islip, Buffalo, Rochester, Queens, NY—Community, faith and labor leaders held rallies and press conferences in five cities around the state to protest the use of taxpayer dollars to subsidize projects that do not create good jobs or broader community benefits. As part of the statewide Getting Our Money’s Worth campaign, advocates gathered at wasteful development projects in their local communities, highlighted a new report, Seizing the Moment: How Regional Economic Development Councils Can Build a Good Jobs Economy, and called on state leaders to create a good jobs plan that improves upon current economic development outcomes.
The events were organized as “hunts for the missing jobs plan” because with the state legislative session days away from ending, Governor Cuomo and the Legislature have failed to put the issue of jobs on the state agenda. While the administration has proposed Regional Economic Development Councils as their new flagship jobs program, the councils have yet to be created and few details have emerged about their future mission and operation.
After failing to find the missing jobs plan in Albany last week, a diverse coalition went looking locally, but instead found examples of how New York’s current job creation efforts fail. Advocates in East Greenbush in Rensselaer County found a FedEx processing plant that is hiring workers from out-of-state and receiving incentives to shift jobs from nearby towns.
“For the last year I worked at GlobalFoundries, where I was paid well and had benefits, but had to drive over 70 miles per day to get there. Now I am laid off, and I drive by this FedEx site every day, wondering why my tax dollars are paying for a company out of Indianapolis that’s bringing in out-of-state workers to build this,” asked Susan Clark an unemployed Rensselaer County sheetmetal worker.
In Central Islip, Long Island, advocates found the Cintas plant, where workers’ right and environmental violations have occurred.
“Cintas was found discharging twice the legal limit of lead from its Central Islip plant and has intimidated and fired workers who tried to unionize the plant to improve their harsh working conditions,” said Charlene Obernauer, the Executive Director of Long Island Jobs with Justice. “Taxpayers should not be subsidizing low-road employers like Cintas that show such disregard for Long Island’s workers and environment.”
In Buffalo, advocates found that the ECIDA approved $300,000 in sales and property tax breaks to Carl Paladino’s Ellicott Development to subsidize the construction of a Family Dollar store, which is expected to employ 10-15 people.
“Public subsidies should be used to promote the public good,” said Andy Reynolds of the Coalition for Economic Justice. “We cannot afford to subsidize millionaire developers and low-wage jobs that keep people in poverty.”
In Rochester, advocates found the Medley Centre, a $260 million mall renovation project that has only created fifty jobs to-date.
“Far too much spending in the name of economic development results in revenue loss to local communities, which in turn means that regular people end up footing the bill for these failed projects,” said Candice Rubin, a Councilmember of Metro Justice.
In Elmhurst, Queens, advocates found one of the most profitable malls in the country, the Queens Center Mall, has received $48 million dollars in property tax subsidies and provides mostly part-time, low-wage, no-benefit jobs that keep people in poverty.
Rodney Bullock, a Queens resident, retail worker and member of the Retail Action Project stated, “As a retail worker, I know the difference it makes to earn a living wage and have a voice on the job.” He continued, “The Queens Center Mall should not be allowed to treat people so poorly and keep their big tax breaks.”
Although advocates found numerous examples of negative development around the state, they also highlighted some positive examples of economic development projects from the Seizing the Moment report.
“This report highlights both the bad and the good, demonstrating that New York has the opportunity to learn from successes at home and around the country when creating Regional Economic Development Councils,” said Matt Ryan, Executive Director of ALIGN. “Alstom Transport and Noble Bliss Wind Farm in Western NY and Just Bagels Manufacturing, Inc., a small business in New York City, are just a few examples of the direction we need to move economic development efforts.”
The report also reviewed accountability policies in states like Minnesota and Connecticut, and transparency policies in Illinois and Wisconsin as models for the baseline criteria recommended in the report.
Speakers at the events emphasized that the opportunity to do economic development differently is not a luxury, but a necessity with unemployment high, wages depressed and communities suffering from budget and service cuts.
“State leadership needs to use all the resources at its disposal wisely,” said Allison Duwe, Executive Director of the Coalition for Economic Justice. “They can start by shifting the focus of new Regional Councils from wasteful spending on corporate subsidies to developing a more sustainable economy and environment for all New Yorkers.”
The Getting Our Money’s Worth Coalition is a broad coalition of public policy experts, government watchdogs, labor unions, community and religious organizations, and concerned small business owners, workers and taxpayers. The statewide coalition is anchored by ALIGN: The Alliance for a Greater New York and the Coalition for Economic Justice