© 2024 Innovation Trail

Map: NY paid developers $1B to improve these brownfields

Cleaning up 114 brownfields cost state taxpayers $1 billion in tax credits, according to a new report from Environmental Advocates of New York (EANY).

We created a map (see above), based on data supplied by EANY, showing the 68 sites known to have received tax credits for brownfield remediation.

However, the statewide environmental group says tax data for some 46 sites remains unaccounted for.

"$300 million has gone to somewhere in between the 68 and the 114 projects," says EANY's Alison Jenkins. "We just don't know where because the state is not required to report it."

Jenkins says thousands of brownfield sites across the state remain contaminated, complicating redevelopment efforts.

Since tax credits are issued to developers based on the value of the building being constructed (rather than cleanup costs), EANY says the state's remediation program is grossly inefficient. The group is calling for reform.

"We're seeing a lot of these tax credits go to areas that would've been redeveloped anyway," Jenkins says. "So this is really just icing on the top for a few developers claiming these really large tax credits."

The largest credit - $113.8 million - went to a mixed-use project in downtown White Plains.

The other big tax credits rounding out the top 5 include $101.6 million for a project in Buffalo, $87 million for a project in Glendale, $63 million for a project in the Bronx and $60.6 million for a project in Johnson City.

A Department of Environmental Conservation spokeswoman says the agency has no comment on the report's findings.

WXXI/Finger Lakes reporter for the Innovation Trail.