Tompkins County Industrial Development Agency – Project Approval and Monitoring (2021M-143)

Issued Date
December 17, 2021

[read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether the Tompkins County Industrial Development Agency (TCIDA) Board of Directors (Board) evaluated projects prior to approval and subsequently monitored the performance of businesses that received financial benefits.

Key Findings

While the Board evaluated projects prior to their approval, Board members should improve TCIDA’s efforts to monitor businesses’ job performance and tax exemptions.

  • Officials did not obtain required documentation to support project owners’ self-reported job performance. As a result, the Board has no assurance the reported job performance information is accurate.
  • The Board did not ensure payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) were billed and paid in accordance with PILOT agreements. As a result, a business was underbilled $78,600, a business was not billed for its agreed upon PILOT totaling $18,900 and another business was overbilled $873.

Key Recommendations

  • Obtain required supporting documentation for self-reported job performance.
  • Properly monitor PILOTs, and establish and implement written policies and procedures to track PILOT amounts billed and received.

IDA officials agreed with our findings and indicated they have begun to initiate corrective action.