Reinvent Albany is a leading member of the coalition of watchdog groups pressing for fairer, cleaner and more accountable economic development subsidies. Our focus is on ensuring that existing subsidies are awarded fairly and competitively. But, like many, we are increasingly concerned about the overall effectiveness of handing out taxpayer dollars to select businesses. We are not alone. Today, the USA Today Network’s local NY papers concluded a six month investigation with a major expose on how economic development funds are spent in NY. Here’s what USA Today wrote:
(Business subsidies) are wrought with a lack of oversight, poor performance and questions about whether the state is getting the best bang for big bucks.
We congratulate USA Today’s New York team and highly recommend you read the whole series.
USA Today Network investigation:
NY’s Big Breaks for Business
NY spends $8B each year on job programs. So, where are the jobs?
Database: Economic development council projects
Transparency, accountability at issue in handling billions of taxpayer dollars
NY jobs at a price: $695M in tax breaks, half reach promised growth
NYers pay $42K a job for film-tax breaks
Database: Film and TV productions receiving tax breaks
Start-Up NY: $53M in advertising plus $5.8M in tax breaks equals 1,100 jobs in 3 years
Database: New York state’s industrial development agency projects
NY in cut-throat battle to lure new business with tax breaks
Why is it so costly to do business in NY? Here are four hurdles