County Executive

Posted on: April 11, 2018

County Executive Curran Announces Sweeping Reforms to Industrial Development Agency

County Executive Curran Announces IDA Reform

Mineola, NY – Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced a series of reforms for the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) that will increase transparency, better measure projects that receive IDA benefits and put communities first.

“I look forward to working with the IDA Board - both my new appointees and members already serving - to move the IDA forward with a new mission of transparency,” said Curran. “The bottom line is Nassau County needs to attract and keep businesses to grow the tax base.”

“I’ve always said IDAs can be a great economic development tool, and we just need to ensure policies and practices are in place that benefit the communities these projects are designed to support,” said Curran.

Curran also announced that she would form a taskforce to explore synergies between the Nassau and Town of Hempstead IDAs in an effort to take a more regional approach to economic development.

“It makes perfect sense to how we can cooperate in a more efficient and substantive way in attracting new business without forgetting the needs of the community,” said Curran.

Curran said amongst the reforms she would recommend to the IDA Board for consideration include:

  • Requiring the IDA to hold quarterly meetings in addition to business sessions and to allow for public comment on all agenda items.
  • Enhancing notification of IDA projects, proposals and other business to elected officials impacted by the projects along with greater outreach to interested parties and the general public.
  • Ensuring that Nassau IDA Board policies on gifts, campaign contributions, etc. mirror those of senior County officials. This would include disclosure by applicants and their consultants of any political contributions made to county or locally impacted elected officials.
  • Closing the so –called “tourism loophole” that has allowed for the granting of tax breaks for storage facilities and car dealerships.
  • Mandating the use of local labor/prevailing wage to the greatest extent possible.
  • Expanding the benefits for building transit-oriented developments in Nassau’s downtowns.
  • Clarifying and strengthening job creation requirements and establish stringent ‘claw back’ of benefits if job levels are not reached.

In addition, Curran said she will also review closely the findings of an audit of the IDA presently being undertaken by the office of Nassau County Comptroller Jack Schnirman, and may recommend additional reforms based on the results of the audit.

“Real reform of the IDA will take the efforts of many,” said Curran. “I am looking forward to working with the IDA Board of Directors and Executive Director to implement these changes.”

 

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