Downside of IDA Deals

Newsday published an editorial so entitled on September 22 (online on the prior day).  You can read it here.  We responded on September 25 with the following letter to the editor.


September 25, 2020

To the Editor:

I applaud Newsday’s September 22, 2020 editorial Downside of IDA Deals as it supports what the Nassau County Village Officials Association (NCVOA) has been stating for years: The system is unjust as it benefits developers at the expense of local communities.

NYS Industrial Development was enacted in 1969 to actively promote, attract, encourage and develop recreation, economically sound commerce and industry projects to prevent unemployment and economic deterioration. Projects were defined as any land, building or other improvement suitable for manufacturing, warehousing, research, commercial or industrial purposes or other economically sound purposes.

IDAs have strayed from state stature by granting tax exemptions to residential construction projects, resulting in an insignificant number of new permanent jobs while increasing financial burdens on local governments and school districts.

We have not been alone in our IDA scrutiny. New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has been an ardent IDA critic and has issued several reports challenging IDA value and their inflated claims of job development and economic benefits.

It is time to correct the inequities by requiring IDAs to:

  1. Limit their scope to the types of projects defined in the law;
  2. Demonstrate the cost of the tax relief per job created;
  3. Ensure the local affected tax jurisdiction has major input on whether the tax relief should be granted in the first place;
  4. Enact separate service agreements with local governments.

Edward L. Lieberman

Mayor, Village of Sea Cliff and

President, Nassau County Village Officials Association