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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Report Highlights

City of Albany Industrial Development Agency - Project Approval and Monitoring (2018M-65)

Released: September 21, 2018 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether:

  • The Board of Directors (Board) approved projects that provide for net tax exemptions with appropriate and measurable goals.
  • Officials monitored projects to ensure goals were met and the Board took action when goals were not met.

Key Findings

  • The City of Albany Industrial Development Agency (CAIDA) did not incorporate goals into project agreements.
  • Thirteen of the 15 projects met or exceeded their job creation and/or retention goals. These 13 projects had 2015 and 2016 employment goals to create and/or retain 1,034 and 1,270 full time equivalent (FTE) jobs and reported a total of 1,666 and 1,876 FTE jobs, respectively.
  • The CAIDA did not monitor project performance for investment or revitalization goals.

Key Recommendations

The Board should:

  • Monitor the new project evaluation and assistance framework (framework) and provide a standard exemption policy.
  • Ensure projects are approved with measureable goals that are carried forward to agreements.
  • Monitor goals and document project performance and action taken.

CAIDA officials generally agreed with our recommendations and indicated they planned to initiate corrective action. Appendix C includes our comments on issues raised in the IDA’s response letter.

Background

The CAIDA is an independent public benefit corporation established in 1974 at the request of the City of Albany (City). The CAIDA’s Board is composed of seven members, who are appointed by the City’s Common Council and responsible for the CAIDA’s general management and financial and operational affairs. The Board-appointed chief executive officer and chief financial officer are responsible for day-to-day operations. The CAIDA funds its operations primarily with fees charged for processing applications and administering financial assistance and supports operations through a professional service agreement with the Capitalize Albany Corporation, a not-for-profit corporation. The CAIDA annually reports information for approved projects. The 2015 and 2016 reports included projects approved between 1993 and 2016. The Board approved four projects in 2015 and one in 2016.

Quick Facts
2015 Reported Projects96
2016 Reported Projects89
2015-16 Tax Exemptions$22.8 million
2015-16 Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT)$8.6 million

Audit Period

January 1, 2015 – October 31, 2017


Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

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