Nassau County IDA provides more tax breaks and creates less jobs than Suffolk County

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Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli will speak at Emanuel, Fri., Oct. 5 at 7:30 p.m.
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

The Nassau County Industrial Development Agency provided businesses with tax exemptions in 2017 that were five times higher per job than those provided by neighboring Suffolk County’s IDA.

A report from state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli on the performance of industrial development agencies across the state disclosed that Nassau’s IDA is estimated to have created 11,828 jobs. Nassau effectively offered $4,159 in tax exemptions for each job created, while Suffolk County offered $758 per job.

Nassau recorded $49.2 million in net tax exemptions while Suffolk County provided less than $12 million in tax breaks.

Long Island as a whole is the state leader in net job gains, accounting for about 24 percent of the statewide total, according to the report.

Nassau County’s IDA provided a total of $92.8 million in tax exemptions in 2017, but $43.6 million, or 46.9 percent,  was offset by payments in lieu of taxes, which companies use to compensate the government for the loss in tax revenue resulting from tax exemptions.

Meanwhile, Suffolk County recouped 61.98 percent, or $19.4 million, of its total tax exemptions in PILOT payments.

A total of 170 projects were completed by the Nassau County IDA in 2017, the lowest number of projects the county recorded since 2011.

Per project, Nassau County provided a net tax exemption of $289,412, which is over three times more than what Suffolk County provided for each of its 132 projects in 2017.

The Nassau County IDA recorded $1.7 million in expenses in 2017, effectively spending $144 per job and $10,000 per project.

In Suffolk County, the IDA’s expenses were comparable to those of Nassau, at $1.3 million, which calculates to $82 per job created and $9,848 per project.

Meanwhile, in Westchester County, the industrial development agency provided $15.8 million in net tax exemptions, which breaks down to $228,985 for each of its 69 projects.

While Westchester allowed fewer exemptions per project than Nassau, it provided more exemptions per job, offering $5,038 per job for each of the 3,136 jobs created.

The Westchester IDA also spent significantly more in expenses than Nassau’s industrial development agency with $2.9 million. The expenses break down to $42,028 for each project and equates to $924 per job.

According to DiNapoli’s report, Long Island’s industrial development agencies created 47,000 jobs and also had the second-highest tax exemptions in the state with a total of $153 million. The Mid-Hudson region recorded the highest dollar amount in tax exemptions at $175 million.

Within the Long Island statistics are various town-operated industrial development agencies.

The report also said that Long Island had the largest number of projects in the state for the second year in a row, recording a total of 809 projects.

“The need for close scrutiny of economic development efforts has never been higher,” DiNapoli said. “My office releases IDA data so New Yorkers can examine if incentives given out to create and retain jobs in their communities are worth it.”

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