by Jeremy Moule
The state Authorities Budget Office says that between 2008 and 2011, the Monroe County Industrial Development Agency awarded approximately $114 million in tax exemptions to businesses. The exemptions covered county property taxes, local sales tax, state sales tax, and mortgage recording taxes.
But COMIDA's total isn't particularly high when compared to other Upstate metro IDA's. The Erie County IDA's exemptions totaled $128.8 million for the same period, and the Onondaga County IDA's exemptions totaled approximately $83 million; Erie County is bigger than Monroe while Onondaga is smaller. The IDA in Niagara County, Niagara is smaller than Monroe, gave out exemptions totaling $147.5 million. (The ABO's Excel spreadsheet is available here, and it's also embedded at the end of this post.)
The ABO's data also includes total payments in lieu of taxes, by dollar amount, awarded to businesses. And what interests me is the ratio of exemptions to PILOT payments. Here's how the metro IDA's stack up:
· COMIDA's $114 million in exemptions were offset by $42.7 million in PILOT payments.
· The Erie County IDA's $128.8 million in exemptions were offset by $74.8 million in PILOT payments.
· The Onondaga County IDA's $83 million in exemptions were offset by $59.3 million in PILOT payments.
Syracuse has its own IDA, which provided $108.1 million in exemptions and received $79 million in PILOT payments.
Keep in mind, these are numbers on paper and there are real-world considerations that come into play. But the numbers show that IDA's in Erie and Onondaga County offset more of their exemptions with PILOT's than COMIDA does.