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Budget deal would rein in development agencies

Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Credit: AP, 2012

Top state lawmakers appear to have embraced aspects of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s effort to rein in industrial development agencies.

As part of a deal for the 2013-14 budget, IDAs would be required to return to Albany the state sales tax recouped from businesses that fail to keep promises about jobs and investment, according to legislation filed Sunday night.

IDAs would be restricted in the retail projects they could back. A similar prohibition expired a couple of years ago under Gov. David A. Paterson.

IDAs also would have additional reporting requirements and be subject to more audits.

But the bill, which outlines revenue actions, doesn’t mention limiting the companies that IDAs can help to seven business sectors, which Cuomo had sought.

Also absent is the governor’s proposal that IDA projects receiving a break on state sales tax also be endorsed by a regional economic development council that he appoints.

These two proposals were opposed by IDAs, who said they would delay building projects and erode local control. There are eight IDAs on Long Island.

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