Legislative Memo

Ken Pokalsky
Vice President of Government Affairs
T 518.465.7511


A.9690 (Magnarelli)



IDA "Accountability"



May 1, 2012


The Business Council respectfully opposes A.9690 (Magnarelli), which would impose additional reporting obligations on industrial development authorities and project sponsor.

These new mandates would duplicate many reporting requirements already required under the Authority Budget Office’s public authorities reporting information system (PARIS). This duplication includes information on project sponsors, purposes of project, amount of IDA notes or bonds, total number of full and part-time jobs involved with the project, total amount of tax exemptions for each pending project, the schedule of PILOT payments for each project, the amount of private sector investment generated by each project, the amount of new revenue the project will generate for local taxing jurisdictions, etc.

Most of this information is already publicly available, as well.

This legislation also would make the PILOT approval process more extensive and cumbersome as well, by requiring a 30 day notice prior to a public hearing on proposed PILOT agreements (an increase from the current 10 day notice requirement) and mandating a quorum of IDA board members for any such hearing (imposing additional time obligations on volunteer board members, rather than paid IDA staffs). 

The bill also demands more information from project sponsors, including an expansive report on violations of “any federal, state or local laws, rules or regulations pertaining to environmental protection, taxation, protection of workers or employment of minority or women-owned businesses,” regardless of how minor such violations may have been.

This bill also requires projects sponsors to provide Empire State Development and the IDA with excessively broad access to business payroll records.

Given the expanded reporting by and oversight of IDAs adopted in the Public Authorities Reform Act of 2009, we see no compelling need for this legislation. Instead, we believe this legislation would impose additional, unnecessary and in some cases duplicative compliance burdens on IDAs and project sponsors, thereby impairing IDA’s important role in promoting new investment and job creation.

For these reasons, The Business Council opposes adoption of A.9690.