For release: June 16, 2009
STATE ECONOMY AND SOCIAL SERVICES SUFFER FROM IDA IMPASSE
$2.5 Billion of Important Projects on Hold Due to the State's Failure to Re-Authorize IDA Financing for Non-Profit Organizations
ALBANY, N.Y. – The state economy is losing more than $2.5 billion in economic stimulus and essential social services are being compromised as a result of the state's failure to re-authorize IDA-financing for non-profit organizations, according to a coalition of business, municipal and nonprofit community groups.
“New York needs the jobs and the $2.5 billion in economic activity that IDA civic-facility projects would provide. The legislature must act to allow these vital projects to go forward to benefit our communities and create good jobs for New Yorkers,” Kenneth Adams, President & CEO of The Business Council of New York State.
Across the state new construction and expansion projects for nursing homes, hospitals, group homes, affordable housing, YMCAs, Cerebral Palsy Centers, and many more quality of life projects have been stalled since the expiration last year of a state law authorizing local Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs) to finance not-for-profit construction projects. The law had been in place since 1986.
A sample listing of some regional projects that have been affected by the expiration of the law is attached.
A bill, A.5700 (Morelle)/S2898 (Stachowski), re-authorizing IDA financing of not-for-profit construction is stalled in the State Legislature. Moreover, the extension has not been mentioned as a priority of any legislative leader in Albany.
Carl S. Young, President of the New York Association of Homes & Services for the Aging, said, “Not-for-profit long term care providers in New York have had their hands tied for 17 months by the lack of IDA financing authority. And the ones who are paying the real price are our frail elderly people, who need quality long term care and continue to have limited options in their communities. Extending IDA financing authority, as proposed in this bill, will enable mission-driven, not-for-profit providers to get the financing they need to create the accommodations New York will need as our baby boomers age into their senior years. New York needs to develop additional affordable housing and retirement communities and they cannot be developed without this crucial financing authority.”
"Every day that our agencies are not able to access IDA funding adversely impacts our consumers and families who continue to wait for residential services" stated Seth P. Stein, Executive Director and General Counsel of the Alliance of Long Island Agencies, Inc.
Daniel Sisto, President of the Healthcare Association of New York State, said: "We see emerging today a damaging impact on the availability of health care services across the state from the lack of access to IDA financing. Critically important health care projects, ranging from cancer center upgrades to needed improvements for aging infrastructure, are on hold. Communities and families across the state are being denied access to upgraded health services that the State Health Department deems necessary. At a time when governments at every level struggle to reduce the cost of health care and to stimulate the economy, it makes little sense to increase the cost of health care and bury essential capital projects. Yet, this is precisely the consequence of hospitals losing access to this low-cost financing option."
Restoring the authority for IDAs to finance civic facilities should be one of the Legislature's and Governor's top priorities. In addition to spurring the State's economy by allowing billions of dollars in construction projects to go forward, making the civic facility authority permanent will allow New York's not-for-profit organizations to provide valuable services to our communities in a more cost-effective manner. Many of these not-for-profits receive at least some financing, either directly or indirectly, from state or local government sources. By lowering the operating costs for these not-for-profits, IDA financing in effect saves New York taxpayers money while at the same time meeting our communities' needs. Peter Baynes, Executive Director of the New York Conference of Mayors
The discussions in Albany have focused on adding wage mandates to IDA projects. “It is important for the construction of affordable housing in this state that IDAs remain a viable source of financing” stated Bernie Carr, Executive Director of the New York State Association for Affordable Housing. “Adding a prevailing wage mandate will result in the loss of as many as 1,000 units of affordable housing annually and require substantially greater amounts of subsidy for units that are built.”
“At a time when unemployment in New York is nearing double digits and the state's economy is in the throws of a deep recession, it is inconceivable that the Governor and legislature would not act on this economic stimulus program. Re-authorizing the law to allow nonprofits to access low cost IDA tax-exempt bond financing would create hundreds of construction and permanent jobs, result in more than $2.5 Billion in investment, not cost the state anything, and would generate more than $70 million in new tax and fee income for the state.” Brian McMahon, Executive Director of the NYS Economic Development Council.
"Albany rhetoric about the importance of job creation rings hollow when legislation such as this sits dormant," said Andrew J. Rudnick, president and CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. "We have in this legislation the opportunity to stimulate the state's economy at no cost to taxpayers, but for a year and a half now Albany has allowed a special interest agenda to hold hostage the creation of thousands of private sector jobs - and now we're putting in jeopardy federal stimulus funds that other states are happy to take off our hands. It's time to forget about the job-killing wage mandates, pass this legislation and put people to work on these projects."
"This impasse is depriving hundreds of contractors and thousands of their employees with construction work and further crippling the state's economic recovery. The Legislature must immediately pass A.5700/S.2898 and not let big union labor's unreasonable demands hold up thousands of jobs and billions of dollars worth of critical economic development projects any longer," said Rebecca Meinking, President of the Empire State Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors.
Margery Ames, Esq. Executive Director of the InterAgency Council of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Agencies, said: “IDAs play a critical role in helping not-for-profit organizations complete needed construction projects. Without authorization to finance such projects, there's often no alternative financing particularly for small and multi-cultural agencies.”
Contacts of local nonprofits which have projects that cannot move forward because of the expiration of the civic facilities law:
Long Island Alliance of Agencies
Marcellus Free Library Board of Trustees
Sr. VP and Treasurer
Northern Westchester Hospital
United Memorial Medical Center
St. Lawrence County
EJ Noble Hospital
Tapestry Charter School
InterAgency Council of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Agencies:
Wini Schiff, 212-645-6360.
Business Council of New York:
Kenneth Adams, 518-465-7511.
NYS Conference of Mayors:
Peter Baynes, 518-463-1185.
NYS Association of Homes & Services for the Aging:
Ami Schnauber, 518-449-2707.
Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS):
William Van Slyke, 518-431-7763.
NYS Economic Development Council:
Brian McMahon, 518-426-4058.
Alliance of Long Island Agencies:
Seth Stein, 516-542-0088.
New York State Association for Affordable Housing:
Bernard T. Carr, 718-432-2100.
Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State:
Barbara V. Crosier, 518-436-0178.
The Buffalo Niagara Partnership:
Andrew Rudnick, 716-541-1765.
NYS Association of Community and Residential Agencies:
Forest Cotton, 518-449-7551.
Rochester Business Alliance:
Sandy Parker, 585-244-1800.
YMCAs of New York State Inc.:
Kyle A. Stewart, (518) 462-8241.
Associated General Contractors of NYS Inc.:
Jeffrey Zogg (518) 869-2207 ex 15.
Empire State Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contactors:
Rebecca Meinking (315) 463-7539.