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Office of the State Comptroller - Local Government & School Accountability
Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Broome County Industrial Development Agency – Evaluation of Project Outcomes (2011M-198)


Released: February 3, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to evaluate the BCIDA management practices for the period January 1, 2004 to June 16, 2011.

Background

The Broome County Industrial Development Agency (BCIDA) was established in 1970 and is governed by a Board which comprises nine members who are appointed by the Broome County Legislature. The Board is responsible for the general management and control of the BCIDA's financial and operational affairs. The BCIDA appointed an Executive Director to manage its day-to-day operations. The BCIDA reported 42 active industrial development projects in its 2010 annual financial report to the Office of the State Comptroller.

Key Findings

  • We commend BCIDA officials for implementing projects that created economic growth in the taxpayers' best interests. BCIDA officials ensured that projects that received property tax abatements under the current UTEP were in the best interest of the community. The BCIDA extended benefits totaling approximately $101.3 million for 11 projects during our audit period. These BCIDA benefits were in the form of reducing the taxes the project would have paid if the project occurred without assistance. In return, these projects reportedly created 578 jobs with estimated annual salaries totaling $21 million; increased the assessed value of the respective properties by approximately $106 million, which equated to an additional $38 million in revenue for the local municipalities during the PILOT terms; and created additional ancillary businesses.
  • During our audit period, the 11 projects reported to BCIDA that they created a total of 578 jobs as of December 31, 2010. BCIDA did not independently verify this information, nor did it obtain salary information related to these jobs.
  • The BCIDA Chairman had a prohibited interest in a contract with BCIDA.

Key Recommendations

  • Establish mechanisms to verify the jobs created and retain data that is reported by individual projects.
  • Establish and implement controls to ensure that the BCIDA does not enter into contracts in which an officer or employee has a prohibited interest.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email: localgov@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236