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DiNapoli Is Watching State’s IDA Boards

Bob Joseph/WNBF News file photo

New York State comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says the boards in charge of industrial development agencies should be aware their actions will be scrutinized in the future.

DiNapoli’s office has released its annual report on IDA performance which noted net tax exemptions approved by agencies across the state jumped 16 percent in 2011 compared with the previous year.

Speaking on WNBF Radio’s Binghamton Now program, DiNapoli expressed concern about IDAs that help existing companies relocate operations within a region.

DiNapoli said that raises the possibility of a “competition between localities” which ultimately results in no net gain.

The comptroller said those situations underscore the need for state officials “to be more aware of what the IDAs are doing.”

DiNapoli said agency boards should be aware “people are going to be looking at their decisions and evaluating them.”

DiNapoli said there always are questions regarding membership of IDA boards and whether relationships with board members affect who gets benefits.

The comptroller said there’s a need for greater accountability and greater transparency.

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