Area IDA tally 2008-11: $306M

Long Island's eight industrial development agencies together granted $306 million in tax breaks to expanding businesses between 2008 and 2011, state regulators said Tuesday. The Authorities Budget Office released a report showing $2.2 billion in tax breaks were given out statewide in the four-year period. The reductions are for property taxes, sales tax and the mortgage recording tax. Locally, the incentives were nearly matched by $303 million in payments in lieu of taxes from businesses. About 630 projects benefited from IDA assistance in Nassau and Suffolk counties. The Suffolk County IDA had the most with 126, followed by Nassau County IDA, 123, and Babylon IDA, 122. However, the largest tax breaks, $116 million, were granted by Hempstead Town IDA for about 66 projects, followed by Nassau IDA, $84 million for 123 projects.

-- James T. Madore

CPI Aerostructures income up

Despite government cutbacks, Edgewood aircraft parts maker CPI Aerostructures Inc. Tuesday said its fourth-quarter income rose sharply on orders from Gulfstream and Boeing. The company's net income increased 35 percent, to $3.6 million or 43 cents per share, during October, November and December compared to the same period last year. Sales climbed 14 percent, to $27.4 million. Nonetheless, sales fell short of the $30.5 million that analysts had initially anticipated. Last month, CPI said it expected fourth-quarter revenue to be lower than projected on concerns that lawmakers would fail to reach a budget deal to avert automatic spending cuts, known as the "sequestration." CEO Edward J. Fred said he expected the cuts to continue hampering the company's bottom line, saying sales would likely fall to 2011 levels and would stem increasingly from private contracts rather than government ones. He said the company is bidding on contracts for large commercial aircraft parts. -- Joe Ryan


More U.S. job openings in Jan.

U.S. employers advertised more job openings in January, suggesting hiring will remain healthy in the coming months. Job openings rose 2.2 percent in January from December to 3.69 million, the Labor Department said yesterday. There were other positive signs: U.S. employers laid off the fewest workers in January than in any month since records began in 2001. And the number of Americans quitting their jobs rose to the highest in more than four years. People usually quit when they have another job, so more quitting suggests it is easier to find work.

T-Mobile, MetroPCS merge OKd

The Federal Communications Commission Tuesday approved the merger of T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS Communications Inc., the No. 4 and No. 5 cellphone carriers in the country. The Justice Department cleared the merger last week, meaning that the last hurdle will be a vote by MetroPCS shareholders. Last year, regulators blocked the proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA by AT&T Inc., the No. 2 wireless company, because it would have reduced competition in the industry. Regulators likely reasoned that the merger of two smaller players was less of a threat. Together, they may be able to compete more effectively with larger companies.

Feds may expand GM recall

U.S. safety regulators are investigating whether to add more than a million General Motors midsize cars to a recall for brake light problems. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it's checking into complaints about 2004 to 2011 Chevrolet Malibus, 2007 to 2009 Saturn Auras and 2005 to 2009 Pontiac G6s. The brake lights may not come on when the pedal is pressed, or the lights illuminate for no reason. The agency said it's investigating 97 complaints from owners. GM says it has no reports of crashes or injuries.

-- AP

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