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Letter: IDAs need local control to compete

A file photo shows New York Gov. Andrew

A file photo shows New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo speaking during a cabinet meeting at the Capitol, Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015, in Albany. Credit: AP / Mike Groll

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's budget would add new requirements and restrictions for industrial development agencies ["Guv defends IDA plan," Business, Feb. 6]. I believe these should be rejected by the State Legislature.

The proposal would result in the surrender of considerable control of local economic development to the state, shift project decision-making from local governments to Albany, delay the economic development process by requiring additional approvals by Empire State Development and the Department of Taxation and Finance before an IDA could convey state tax exemptions, and add uncertainty for businesses about the tax benefits they could receive for investing in our communities.

IDAs were given authority to convey state tax exemptions in 1969, when the authorizing statute was enacted. If the governor's proposal passes, New York State's strong history of home rule would be violated. Decisions about incentives should be made by locally controlled IDA boards accountable to locally elected officials.

The process of attracting private-sector investment to New York is highly competitive and must be done in real time. Adding restrictions or requirements to this process would bring delays, make New York less competitive and hurt our ability to attract job-creating projects.

Frederick C. Braun III, Farmingville

Editor's note: The writer is the chairman of the Town of Brookhaven Industrial Development Agency.