Doling Out Tax Breaks Doesn’t Stop Companies From Taking Our Money and Running

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Long Island’s Industrial Development Agencies have long been a source of power and patronage for local politicians, yet the IDAs’ effectiveness at actually fulfilling their official function of retaining jobs in the region is questionable at best. Let’s say it’s a dubious work in progress.From the departure of companies such as OSI Pharmaceuticals, Goya Foods, Arrow Electronics and Symbol Technologies, to the famous exodus of a huge entity like Northrop Grumman, Long Island’s corporate employment pool is ever-shrinking. Newsday reported that since 2003, the Nassau-Suffolk region has lost more than 30 corporations in some form.While CA Technologies still has a presence at 1 Computer Associates Plaza in Islandia, it’s no longer based on Long Island because its CEO recently moved its corporate headquarters across the East River. More than two decades ago CA got $13 million in low-cost IDA financing, sales tax breaks and property tax abatements. Earlier this month, First Data Corp., a credit-card processing company, announced it was shedding 641 jobs on Long Island. In 2003, the Suffolk IDA had given it more than $3 million in property tax breaks over 10 years to help offset the construction costs of its Melville facility.Given the drain on the Long Island economy, you’d think policymakers would be scrambling to stop the hemorrhaging. In one sense, they are—by continuing to put their faith in the IDAs to attract, retain and nurture local and regional businesses. But it doesn’t come cheap. One notable exception to the corporate flight is Canon U.S.A., which got a reported $31 million in benefits from the Suffolk IDA, including $18 million in sales tax exemptions and some $13 million in property tax abatements over a 10-year-period for simply moving from Lake Success in Nassau to Melville in Suffolk.In New York State, legislative action in 1969 allowed for the creation of IDAs to “facilitate economic development in specific localities, and delineating their powers and status as public benefit corporations.” According to a 2006 report from the State Comptroller’s office, New York has 115 active IDAs, at least one in each county, as well as in cities, villages and towns. In Suffolk County, Babylon, Brookhaven, Islip and Riverhead towns also have their own IDA, while in Nassau, Glen Cove and Hempstead Town do.Ask Paul Sabatino, a former chief deputy Suffolk County executive in the Steve Levy administration, about these Industrial Development Agencies, and his voice tenses up as he calls them a collective “poster child for crony capitalism.”Sabatino, an outspoken critic of the concept, was quick to note that “every dollar given by IDAs is a dollar taxpayers need to pay.”The money is freely handed out by Long Island’s IDAs. According to New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, our IDAs were among the most active regions in the state in 2013, granting $114.1 million in tax breaks to 851 projects. The results of these efforts reportedly generated 40,092 jobs valued around $9.9 billion, resulting in $3,506 in tax exemptions per job gained.But it’s worth taking a closer look. Suffolk County’s IDA granted $644 in tax breaks for every job gained, while Nassau’s IDA granted a ludicrous $23,611 in tax breaks per job. Nor does the disparity stop there. The Nassau IDA’s effectiveness is also questionable, having generated a mere 1,835 jobs, while the Suffolk IDA allegedly netted 14,080.Others have joined the growing chorus of IDA critics. Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos issued a press release last year titled “Nassau IDA Needs to Do Better,” which detailed the entities’ “apparent underperformance” and noted that Nassau’s IDA “appears to have created or retained an average of seven jobs per project while Suffolk created or retained about 105 jobs per project.”Aside from the dubious allocation of money, the Nassau County IDA seems to make doubtful decisions about which projects they believe are worthy of taxpayer subsidy. Thanks to a legal loophole in state law that allows IDAs to grant tax breaks for retail projects as long as they are “related to tourism,” a Costco slated for Oceanside was put on the docket to receive substantive tax breaks, as was Life Time Fitness in Garden City, which was deemed equally appealing to tourists. The IDA took no action on the Costco application after a public outcry about it, but Life Time was a bit more successful, with LIBN reporting at the time that Nassau IDA officials approved a 20-year Payment In Lieu Of Taxes package and authorized up to $2 million in savings on sales taxes.Nassau County IDA wasn’t the only one to find excuses to go beyond its purview. As helpfully pointed out by Newsday’s Editorial Board, the Town of Babylon IDA granted Tanger Outlets at the Arches in Deer Park tax breaks using the same “tourism” loophole. Joining the chorus, the editorial page of the New York Post weighed in to ask: “Where is the political support for the only truly sensible policy: making New York more attractive to all business investment, without the crony capitalism—and with the same set of rules for everyone?”Comptroller DiNapoli’s report did produce a tangible result in December 2015 when an IDA reform bill became law. At the time, DiNapoli said, “These measures build upon many of the best practices employed by some IDAs around the state and should reassure taxpayers that private businesses are being adequately scrutinized prior to receiving public support and that communities can recoup benefits if job creation goals are not met.”Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos hasn’t seen any marked improvement in Nassau’s IDA since the reform was passed. He told this writer that things are “exactly the same as before.” Maragos stressed that his goal “was not to criticize, but to motivate the IDA. The IDA should set forth a vision of how to create an economic engine for Nassau County.”He wanted the Nassau IDA to conduct public hearings as well as a cost-benefit analysis of the tax-abatement proposals on the table. “If one of their efforts doesn’t hold up to the scrutiny of a public hearing,” Maragos told me, “it shouldn’t be approved.”But the IDAs’ actual structure may be at issue. According to Sabatino, these entities aren’t about merely preserving Long Island’s business community as designed.“It’s all about access for the political class,” said Sabatino recently. “The basic economic principles of the IDAs are faulty. You are essentially taking taxpayer dollars to let politicians pick economic winners and losers based on politics and personalities—not objective review.”This lack of objective review is not only ineffective at fostering growth, it’s harmful for the overall economy. Flexing political power over objective planning ends up making Long Island lose its already dwindling competitive advantage due to the high costs of living here. Even after the subsidies are handed out, the jobs still leave for greener pastures.For his county to succeed, Maragos said, “Nassau needs to be the best in one or two industries. Low unemployment figures mask the fact that job totals are back to 2008 levels. If we don’t do anything, Nassau’s future won’t be bright.”But the two sectors our economy does seem to be increasingly relying on are retail and hospitality, which are vulnerable to the business cycle and are not known for producing high paying jobs. Because our policymaking remains fragmented, the Island’s future continues to suffer. The IDAs compete over the scraps while other states beckon our struggling industries with enticing deals. The vested interests that benefit from the status quo here have little incentive to change it. Why would they? They’re more concerned with keeping their fiefdoms in power, as long our taxpayers are willing to foot the bill.Rich Murdocco writes about Long Island’s land use and real estate development issues. He received his Master’s in Public Policy at Stony Brook University, where he studied regional planning under Dr. Lee Koppelman, Long Island’s veteran master planner. Murdocco is a regular contributor to the Long Island Press. More of his views can be found on www.TheFoggiestIdea.org or follow him on Twitter @TheFoggiestIdea.(Photo credit: Google Maps)last_img read more

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Record rent for Dublin offices

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Negotiations helps bidder seal deal at auction

first_imgThe home at 50 Waterview Ave, Wynnum.ONE bidder was all it took for a character home on a double block to sell last Saturday. The property at 50 Waterview Ave, Wynnum, sold under the hammer for $780,000. Marketing agent David Lazarus, of Belle Property Manly, said the four-bedroom home attracted two registered bidders and a crowd of about 30 people on auction day. One of the bidders opened the auction with a bid of $725,000 while the second remained silent. “We pulled the (active bidder) aside at $725,000 and negotiated with him to reach $780,000,” Mr Lazarus said. More from newsCrowd expected as mega estate goes under the hammer7 Aug 2020Hard work, resourcefulness and $17k bring old Ipswich home back to life20 Apr 2020The home at 50 Waterview Ave, Wynnum.“At that point, we put (the home) on the market and it sold.” The local agent said the new owner and his family planned to move into the property. “They’re relocating from Wakerley — they needed a bigger house for their kids and all their stuff,” he said. Mr Lazarus said the vendors were Sydney investors who were cashing out to reinvest elsewhere.About 55 groups inspected the Wynnum home in the lead up to the auction. “It’s a beautiful character home, built-in underneath, on a double block. You don’t get many of those anymore,” Mr Lazarus said.last_img read more

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PHOTO: Brance Diversified Busy at Amelia Island

first_imgImage source: Brance DiversifiedBrance Diversified, Inc., a dredging and marine construction company servicing the state of Florida and surrounding areas, is currently conducting dredging operations in Amelia Island on Creekside Drive.So far, the Jacksonville based dredging contractor removed approximately 42,000 cubic yards of material from the Amelia Island Marina. The clean-up work at this site is underway at the moment, said Jennifer Mitchell from Brance Diversified.“We are also currently wrapping up some dredging work at the Vilano Boat Ramp in St. Augustine,” added Mitchell.Brance Diversified has just released this amazing photo from the Amelia Island dredging scheme.[mappress mapid=”24542″]last_img

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Francis V. “Blackie” Hoffmeier

first_imgFrancis “Blackie” Hoffmeier, 87, of Aurora, IN, passed away Saturday, April 30, 2016 in Cincinnati, OH.He was born Friday, June 8, 1928 in Ohio, Son of the late Frank Hoffmeier and the late Catherine Trossman Hoffmeier.He worked as a Welder for Texas Gas, retiring after over 35 years of service.He was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and Knights of Columbus. In his younger years, Blackie played baseball and enjoyed riding motorcycles. He still enjoyed riding his scooter. Blackie was a guitarist and loved to play Blue Grass music with his brother and anyone else that wanted to play. He liked to garden and always took care of the flower gardens around the house. Blackie spent time puttering around in his shop making numerous yard decorations, such as, Nativity scenes and windmills. He also loved to paint. His house and everything in it was always impeccably painted. He loved to support and attend any community chicken fry, or fish fry and spend time with friends and family.He is survived by his loving wife of 66 years, Faye Ann Hoffmeier of Aurora, IN; Grandchildren, Jamie Black (Joel Braun) of North Royalton, OH; and Bart (Shannon) Black of Aurora, IN; great grandchildren, Alex Doehrmann, Leni Doehrmann and Niki Doehrmann, Joey Black and Jake Black; Brothers, Les Hoffmeier, Clifford “Dutch” (Wilma) Hoffmeier and Loran “Lornie” (Rose Mary) Hoffmeier all of Guilford.He was preceded in death by his parents and sisters, Mary Barbara “Sis” Peters & Helen Ann “Betsy” Hiltz.Friends will be received 5:00 – 8:00 PM, Thursday, May 5, 2016 at the Rullman Hunger Funeral Home, Aurora, Indiana.Services will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 203 Fourth Street, Aurora, IN, Friday, May 6, 2016 at 11:00 am with Father Stephen Donahue officiating.Interment will follow in the River View Cemetery, Aurora, IN.Contributions may be made to the Aurora Emergency Rescue Unit. If unable to attend, please call the office at (812) 926-1450 and we will notify the family of your donation with a card.Visit: www.rullmans.comlast_img read more

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PSG boss backs Neymar, Mbappe after UCL final loss

first_imgParis Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel defended his 400 million euro strike force of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe after they were unable to find a way past Bayern Munich in their 1-0 Champions League final loss on Sunday. PSG’s Qatari owners spent a combined 402 million euros ($474m) on the pair in 2017 to win this competition. However, they struggled to impose themselves on the German giants who have now won Europe’s top prize on six occasions. Neymar, the world’s most expensive footballer, ended the night with a yellow card and in floods of tears. “We want Neymar and Kylian to score but we can’t ask for it all the time,” said Tuchel. “I am proud because ‘Ney’ still had a match with an incredible capacity, he showed his mentality. “For Kylian it was difficult, he suffered a serious injury, missed a lot of training. It was a miracle that he was with us at all.” Mbappe had a great chance to score but shot straight at goalkeeper Manuel Neuer just before half-time. As it was, Kingsley Coman, for whom PSG was his boyhood club, grabbed the only goal in the second half. “I am convinced that if we had scored the first goal, we’d win the game 1-0,” added Tuchel. “I had the impression that the first goal would decide the fate of this final.” Promoted ContentWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?The Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More12 Marvel Superheroes Before The Fame7 Universities Where Getting An Education Costs A Hefty Penny7 Famous And Incredibly Unique Places In ThailandTop 10 Most Romantic Nations In The World2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This YearA Guy Turns Gray Walls And Simple Bricks Into Works Of ArtLook At Something Beautiful That Wasn’t Made By A Human Being10 Risky Jobs Some Women Do7 Reasons It’s Better To Be A VeganCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable Way Read Also: Davies ‘hungry’ for more success at Bayern Munich He added: “We have to keep this quality to continue on this road.” But will he still be in charge when PSG open their new season in the coming week? “I have a contract, I don’t know anything else.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Loading… last_img read more

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Canaan student makes semi-finals for State GeoBee contest

first_imgCaanan, IN—The National Geographic Society named Silas Eaton, a 5th grader at Canaan Community Academy as one of the semifinalists eligible to compete in the 2020 National Geographic GeoBee State Competition. The contest will be held at IUPUI lecture hall on Friday, March 27.  This is the second level of the National Geographic GeoBee competition, which is now in its 32nd year. To determine each school champion, GeoBee competitions were held in schools throughout the state with students in the fourth through eighth grades. This year, an estimated 2.4 million students competed in the GeoBee, with 8,661 students becoming school champions. School champions also took an online qualifying test, which they submitted to the National Geographic Society. Up to 100 of the top-scoring students in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense Dependents Schools and U.S. territories were invited to compete in the State GeoBees.State champions will receive a medal, $1,000 in cash, and other prizes, as well as a trip to Washington, D.C., to represent their state in the National Championship where they will compete for additional cash, awards and college scholarships. The second- and third-place State GeoBee winners will receive cash awards of $300 and $100, respectively.last_img read more

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McCoy sides with Cantlow

first_img McCoy will be hoping he can be triumphant in the famous green and gold colours and win the race for a second time, having been successful on Butler’s Cabin in 2007. Gallant Oscar is not among the final field. Though he had been ante-post favourite before being usurped by Cantlow, connections of the Tony Martin-trained 10-year-old are instead hoping he makes the cut for the Crabbie’s Grand National on Saturday week. Gallant Oscar also holds an entry in the Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr a week later. Robert Tyner’s Embracing Change, winner of his last four races, is another high-profile absentee. However, there is a very strong line-up, with Willie Mullins saddling Perfect Gentleman and Dogora as he bids to get on the roll of honour for the first time. Jim Dreaper is double-handed with Los Amigos and Sizing Coal, with Grand Jesture, Pass The Hat, Vics Canvas and Lots Of Memories among the other interesting contenders. Dan Skelton’s Toby Lerone is first reserve, while the Noel Meade-trained pair of Bose Ikard and Ipsos Du Berlais take up the other two stand-by places. The soon-to-retire champion has chosen the Paul Webber-trained 10-year-old over McManus’s two other entries in the big handicap chase, top-weight If In Doubt, trained by Philip Hobbs, and Tom Mullins’ Alderwood. Cantlow finished eighth last year under Andrew McNamara as McManus lifted the prize with the Barry Geraghty-partnered Shutthefrontdoor. Tony McCoy will ride Cantlow for his boss JP McManus in the BoyleSports Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse on Monday.center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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Huge wins for Pitbulls, Vintage and Hikers at GTT Hockey Championships

first_imgTHE GTT National Indoor Hockey Championships got underway on Monday evening at the National Gymnasium with six great matches.In the first game, second division teams GCC Pitbulls and Phoenix squared off in an apparently one-sided match. The Pitbulls dominated throughout, making the final tally 11 – 1 in their favour.The barrage of goals came from the sticks of Junior Nationals Kareem McKenzie, Shaquille Leung, Medroy Scotland and former Junior National Trevon Smith; scoring goals of five, three, two and one respectively. Rafael Robinson was Phoenix’s lone goal scorer.GCC’s Manager, Kevin Spencer, seemed very satisfied at his team’s performance at the end of the match.The next Second Division match of the evening took place between Old Fort Supersonics and Hikers. After a slow start, things started to heat up when Old Fort’s Orin Singh scored the first goal of the match in the 12th minute. Three minutes later, Shomere Garnett of the Hikers responded with a field goal of his own, which made the half-time score one apiece.In the last half, however, Old Fort Supersonics picked up the pace and landed three more goals, mere seconds apart in one instance, bring their final score to four goals. Hikers only added one more goal to their count, sealing their defeat.The third game was a veteran bout between Antonio’s Hickers and GCC Vintage. Critics called it a massacre, as GCC demolished the defenses of the Hickers to secure a 6 – 1 victory. James Mentore capitalized on a counter-attack in the first minute of play for Antonio’s Hickers; but after that goal, GCC Vintage showed their prowess, with Devin Hooper as their main man.He added two goals to the reckoning in the second half, as his team coasted to a comfortable victory. Gabriella Xavier, GCC Vintage’s Manager, was extremely elated with her team’s output for that match.Match number four was a clash of the ladies, as GCC Spartans met Old Fort Lady Bugs. It was another slow starting game, although it was not void of valiant attempts at goal scoring. The first goal of the evening that the Spartans managed to edge in was an FC by Carina Moller. No other goals were scored in the first half, but the second half saw more action, as Moller successfully scored a PC to bring her team’s total to two.Romichelle Brummel of the Lady Bugs scored two back-to-back goals shortly after to even up the odds. However, neither team could effectively penetrate its opponent’s defenses, and the score at the end-of-game buzzer stood at 2-2.The fifth match saw First Division teams Old Fort Ravers go against Saints in a heated match. No goals were scored in the first half, but not for lack of trying from either side.In the second half, though, the Ravers came out swinging, and scored goals through Robert Brummel, Deheron Wilkinson, and the Simon brothers adding one each. Saints fared decently with two goals of their own, but it was in vain, as the Ravers safeguarded their win.The final bout of the evening occurred between the Pepsi Hikers and GCC Bounty, both First Division squads. This match was a blowout of exceptional proportions, as the Pepsi Hikers sealed a 7-2 victory over a seemingly dysfunctional GCC Bounty.Robert France was the leading scorer for the Hikers with four goals, while Randy Hope, Aroydy Brandford and Andrew Stewart added one each respectively. GCC Bounty’s Mark Sergeant and Kevin Spencer gave their team two goals, but their heroic contributions were insignificant in comparison. Both teams are known for their skill and focus, but last evening the Hikers seemed to have more of both.The tournament continues until November 6.This round-robin segment will see winning teams being awarded points to determine who will make it to the semi-finals, and ultimately the finals.last_img read more

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Ngidi bowls South Africa to thrilling T20 win as England collapse

first_imgEAST LONDON, South Africa (Reuters) – Seamer Lungi Ngidi defended seven runs in the final over to bowl South Africa to an unlikely one-run victory, as England folded at the death in the first Twenty20 International yesterday.England needed seven from their final seven balls with five wickets remaining, but collapsed in the face of Ngidi’s off-cutters on a slow wicket to add five runs for the loss of four wickets.South Africa had posted 177 for eight in their 20 overs, a record score in East London, but England were cruising when Jason Roy blasted 70 from 38 balls and captain Eoin Morgan an excellent 52 from 34.The visitors lost their nerve at the finish, though, in what will be a tough lesson at the start of the build-up to the Twenty20 World Cup to be played in Australia in October. Opener Roy provided the power at the top of the England order with superb straight hitting that included seven fours and three sixes.He was out with England needing 46 from 34 balls and with seven wickets in hand, a simple enough equation on a docile pitch.Their cause was strengthened when Morgan took up the mantle to take them to the brink of victory in the final over, but Ngidi (3-30) showed excellent skill and control to steer the game South Africa’s way.Having earlier picked up the key wicket of Ben Stokes (4), he removed Tom Curran (2) and Moeen Ali (5), before Adil Rashid (1) was run-out on the last ball going for a second run that would have tied the game and led to a super over.South Africa’s score of 177 for eight in their 20 overs was boosted by Temba Bavuma’s 43 from 27 balls, his runs coming in an unfamiliar opening position.last_img read more

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