Comptroller summarizes IDA benefits

Rob Creenan, Niagara Gazette, Niagara Falls, N.Y.

(Republished from Yahoo)

May 23—Across the state, the value of projects receiving Industrial Development Agency benefits reached record levels in 2022, though that was not the case in Niagara County.

A new report from State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli's office finds that in 2022, New York's 107 IDAs reported a total of 4,320 active projects worth $132 billion combined. That's a $5 billion or 3.9% increase over 2021. Total tax exemptions for these projects were nearly $2 billion, up $63 million or 3.3% from 2021.

"IDAs were created to help grow local economies, businesses and job markets," DiNapoli said in the report. "The tax breaks they provide businesses can impact local tax collections, however, and New Yorkers should be mindful about weighting the benefits these projects bring to their communities against their cost. My office reports the numbers on local IDAs to help increase their transparency and make them more accountable to taxpayers."

The data states that in 2022, the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency had 137 active projects valued at $1.195 billion. Those projects received a total of $18.5 million in tax exemptions, have net tax exemptions of $77,964 per project, are estimated to support 6,458 jobs, and have a net gain of 2,091 jobs.

Per project, total project value, tax incentives, and net tax exemptions are down, $249 million, $9 million and $74,842 respectively, from highs in 2018, the first year during which data is available on the state comptroller's website. Project count is down three from its 2020 high.

Projects for which the Niagara County IDA approved tax incentives in 2022, some of which may not have been submitted or considered active for this data, include:

—$271,556 for a $9.145 million Kilmer Solar facility in Lewiston

—$167,280 for a $9.76 million CVE solar facility in Wheatfield

—$611,374 for a $2.98 million brewery project at 12 W. Main St. in Lockport

—$1.89 million for a $48.75 million expansion project at Niacet's Niagara Falls facility

—$173,821 for a new $2.1 million building for the Lockport Schools Federal Credit Union

—$1.68 million for a $3 million expansion for DRC Development in the Vantage International Point business park in Sanborn

—$612,945 for a $5.3 million redevelopment of the Frontier House in the Village of Lewiston

—$4.99 million for a new $25.8 million Trek facility in Cambria

—$124 million for a new $550 million Amazon fulfillment center in the Town of Niagara

—$6.4 million for a new $23 million market-rate apartment building in North Tonawanda

—$324,511 for $598,930 in renovations to a building at 298 Hyde Park Boulevard, Niagara Falls

Comptroller spokesperson Rebecca Dangoor said the office only reviews active projects that are submitted by the IDAs, it does not verify them. By net tax exemptions, the largest active project submitted by the Niagara County IDA was a Covanta Niagara project with a net tax exemption of $1.86 million.

Of the 56 county IDAs in New York state, Niagara County trails only Monroe, Nassau, and Erie County in project numbers, while trailing behind Saratoga, Westchester, Monroe, Nassau, Erie, Suffolk, Duchess, Oswego, Orange, Rockland, Steuben, Oneida, Onondaga, Chautauqua, Broome, Clinton, Sullivan, and Rensselaer counties in total project value.

Niagara County also trails Broome, Cattaraugus, Duchess, Erie, Greene, Monroe, Nassau, Oneida, Onondaga, Orange, Oswego, Rensselaer, Rockland, Saratoga, Steuben, Suffolk, Sullivan and Westchester counties in total tax exemptions granted.

The net number of jobs gained statewide was 204,147 in 2022, an increase of 15.2%. The 4,320 active IDA projects were projected to create an estimated 213,887 jobs over their lifespan with a median salary of $42,000.

County IDAs were responsible for 61.8% of all active IDA projects in 2022, followed by towns at 11.7%, cities at 12.7%, New York City at 7.2%, villages at 0.5%, and city-town IDAs at 0.2%.

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