Main Banner

NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015

Comptroller DiNapoli: IDA-Issued Tax Breaks Continue to Climb

Job Gains Reported in All Regions, With Long Island Leading the State

May 29, 2019

New York’s Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs) reported providing $751 million in net tax exemptions for local economic development efforts in 2017, up more than 5 percent from 2016, according to a report issued today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

The gap in net job gains created by IDA-sponsored projects narrowed between upstate and downstate regions in 2017, according to the most recent data submitted by the state’s 109 active IDAs. Through 2017, downstate areas accounted for 51 percent of the nearly 200,000 total net jobs gained through IDA projects versus 49 percent gained in upstate regions. The prior year, downstate outpaced the rest of the state with 57 percent of the total.

“The need for close scrutiny of economic development efforts has never been higher,” said DiNapoli. “My office releases IDA data so New Yorkers can examine if incentives given out to create and retain jobs in their communities are worth it.”

The annual report showed IDAs provided approximately $1.4 billion in total tax exemptions to 4,385 projects in 2017. These exemptions were partially offset by $642 million in payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs). Both total exemptions and PILOTs increased, resulting in net exemptions of just over $750 million – $36 million (5.1 percent) over the prior year. In 2016, net tax exemptions were up $20 million, nearly 3 percent, from the previous year.

Through 2017, active IDA projects produced a net total of 198,522 jobs gained since their inception, with nearly two-thirds (2,912) of projects resulting in net jobs gained. Services, such as retail, health care and recreation, accounted for 50,435, or 25 percent, of the total net jobs gained, closely followed by manufacturing (21 percent), and finance, insurance and real estate (20 percent).

Outside of New York City, IDAs in 2017 reported:

  • All seven upstate regions had net job gains over the life of their active projects, with the Capital District adding the most (22,987). Long Island led the downstate regions with nearly 47,000 jobs created (See Appendix A);
  • Long Island continues to lead the state in net job gains, once again accounting for approximately 24 percent of the statewide total;
  • For the second straight year, the Long Island (809), Finger Lakes (742) and Western New York (720) regions had the largest number of projects;
  • The Mid-Hudson ($175 million) and Long Island ($153 million) regions had the highest net tax exemptions;
  • The Mohawk Valley ($24 million) and North Country ($7 million) regions had the lowest net tax exemptions; and
  • The Capital District ($76) and Mid-Hudson ($75) regions had the highest net tax exemptions per capita.

For more detailed regional information, see Appendix B of the report or visit OSC’s interactive map:

To read the Annual Performance Report on New York State’s Industrial Development Agencies, go to: