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Here in New York, industrial development agencies (IDAs) are one of main job creation mechanisms for local communities.In 2009, IDAs gave away close to half a billion dollars in tax breaks to companies in the name of economic development.IDAs are known as "public benefit corporations" - they're supposed to help their local communities, and create jobs.But in their four decades of existence, they've been accused of everything from failing to comply with state laws, to simply being inefficient.You can follow the Innovation Trail's investigation into how IDAs spend your tax dollars by subscribing to the RSS feed on the right.

Cuomo reacts to IDA backlash on sales tax budget proposal

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Ashley Hassett
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WBFO file photo

During his visit to western New York on Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo reacted to the backlash by Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs) against his executive budget proposal that would remove their powers to grant state sales tax exemptions.

In recent weeks IDAs across New York state have been pleading with the governor to rethink the proposed change. They argue it will strip them of their ability to manage local economic development projects.

The governor’s proposal would require them to have projects that involve offering state sales tax exemptions approved by the relevant Regional Economic Development Council. Cuomo says he feels his plan will grow the state’s economy.

“I don’t want to subsidize a company to move within this state and just reside in a different locale. This is about creating new jobs and giving new people opportunity, so our IDA proposal would reform what I believe is a lack of coordination and waste in the program,” said Cuomo.

Cuomo says he wants the state to be spending tax dollars more wisely and this plan would do just that. The change is expected to increase state revenue by about $7 million in its first fiscal year and is planned to generate $13 million annually thereafter.

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