The Nassau County, N.Y., Industrial Development Agency (IDA) could close a tourism loophole that provides tax breaks to new self-storage facilities and car dealerships. The IDA has used the exemption for projects it believes will attract customers from outside the region, according to the source, but county executive Laura Curran called on the IDA to end the practice. The agency has received criticism for the breaks it has given to developers of these types of properties.
Though the tax breaks are meant to spur economic development, Curran urged the IDA to adopt performance benchmarks and hold quarterly meetings online. She also believes business applicants and consultants who appear before the IDA should be required to disclose campaign contributions to county or local officials, the source reported.
The IDA relieved 173 projects with $44 million in tax breaks in 2016, an increase from $10.6 million for 67 projects in 2004, according to an audit conducted by county comptroller Jack Schnirman.
Curran also indicated she would create a task force to examine if the Nassau and Hempstead, N.Y., IDAs should work together “in an effort to make a more regional approach to economic development,” according to a press release.
Last April, the IDA ended its counsel contract with attorney Ed Ambrosino, after the Hempstead town-council member was arrested on charges of income-tax evasion and wire fraud. Ambrosino is accused of depositing IDA checks into a private bank account. He’s pleaded not guilty.
Newsday, Laura Curran Calls for End to IDA Tourism Loophole