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Industrial Development Agencies & Local Economic Development Corporations

August 16, 2011

The Cuomo Administration’s Regional Economic Development Initiative looks to each region to coordinate economic development for their communities. In seeking to harness the efforts of state and local entities to stimulate regional economic growth, the program emphasizes regional plans to stimulate local economies. One question is the role of Industrial Development Agencies and Local Development Corporations in the process. Localities have increasingly relied upon the 115 IDAs and 279 LDCs operating in the State to advance local development projects. The State Comptroller, however, has raised questions concerning a number of the IDAs’ effectiveness in job creation and economic growth, as in the latest Annual Performance Report on IDAs (press release), which was released in July. The increasing numbers of LDCs, their relationship with municipalities, and available oversight have also raised questions, which were addressed in the Comptroller’s recent report on the Municipal Use of LDCs and Other Private Entities.

IDAs and LDCs may be the best or only available vehicle for local development, but perhaps not… In any case, the growing regulatory consensus is that there would be little downside to taking a harder look at their operations before expanding their roles.

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