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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Hamburg Industrial Development Agency – Project Approval and Monitoring (2015M-32)


Released: June 19, 2015 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the Agency’s process for evaluating, approving and monitoring projects for the period January 1, 2013 through December 23, 2014.

Background

The Hamburg Industrial Development Agency is an independent public benefit corporation whose goals are to advance job opportunities and economic welfare in the Town of Hamburg by providing financing and tax incentives as authorized by New York State Law. The Agency is governed by a Board which comprises nine members who are appointed by the Town of Hamburg Board. The Agency reported 48 active projects with payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreements in 2014.

Key Findings

  • The Board did not develop an adequate recapture policy to allow for the recovery of previously granted benefits if job creation goals, economic goals or other terms of the project agreements are not met.
  • Agency officials did not have a system to track the amounts directly billed and collected by taxing jurisdictions for PILOTs.
  • The Board did not adequately monitor and evaluate the performance of businesses receiving assistance from the Agency.

Key Recommendations

  • Develop a policy that allows for the recapture of financial assistance if businesses fall short of their performance goals.
  • Monitor whether PILOTs are accurately billed and collected in accordance with authorized agreements.
  • Verify that the employment data that businesses report annually is accurate, evaluate performance and document action taken if performance is less than intended.

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