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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Niagara County Industrial Development Agency – Project Approval and Monitoring (2015M-93)


Released: September 11, 2015 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the IDA’s process for evaluating, approving and monitoring projects for the period January 1, 2013 through January 30, 2015.

Background

The Niagara County Industrial Development Agency is an independent public benefit corporation created under New York State General Municipal Law. The IDA is governed by a Board of nine members who are appointed by the County Legislature. For our audit period, the IDA reported 142 active projects totaling approximately $1.2 billion.

Key Findings

  • Cost benefit analysis (CBA) information for proposed projects lacked calculations of ratios that help determine the potential benefits compared to costs.
  • Not all payments-in-lieu of taxes (PILOTs) were billed accurately.
  • The Board was not provided adequate information to determine whether businesses achieved the goals stated in their applications.

Key Recommendations

  • Develop CBA ratios that provide for measurement of project applications.
  • Ensure that all PILOT billings and payments are made in accordance with agreements and pursue, if feasible, the recovery of underbilled PILOTs.
  • Develop procedures to monitor and evaluate businesses’ performance.

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