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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Mount Vernon Industrial Development Agency – Project Approval and Monitoring (2013M-364)


Released: April 18, 2014 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine if the Board of Directors applied a uniform system for project approval and monitored approved projects for the period of January 1, 2012 through July 29, 2013.

Background

The Mount Vernon Industrial Development Agency is located in the City of Mount Vernon in Westchester County and is governed by a Board of Directors which includes the Mayor and five mayoral appointees. Its purpose is to promote, develop, encourage and assist in acquiring, constructing, improving, maintaining or equipping certain facilities, thereby promoting job opportunities and the health, general prosperity and economic welfare of the community.

Key Findings

  • Officials did not uniformly apply their Uniform Tax Exempt Policy to projects.
  • Several projects did not include a cost-benefit analysis.
  • Project documents, such as signed leases, and one project application were not on file.
  • Officials did not adequately monitor projects to ensure that they made reasonable progress toward their goals.
  • Officials did not impose penalties on businesses in cases where projects failed to create or retain jobs as projected.

Key Recommendations

  • Establish uniform criteria to be used when approving projects.
  • Complete or verify cost benefit-analyses before Board approval.
  • Maintain appropriate records for each project.
  • Implement procedures to monitor project goals and performance expectations.
  • Implement procedures for recouping tax exempt status if a business does not produce the intended benefits.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email: localgov@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236