Welcome to the Finger Lakes! Our theme song:

In a town this size, there's no place to hide
Everywhere you go, you meet someone you know...
In a smokey bar, in the backseat of your car
In your own little house, someone's sure to find you out
What you do and what you think
What you eat and what you drink...

(Kieran Kane)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Happily, some clarity from DiNapoli

New York State's top financial officer, Tom DiNapoli, got involved in politics in 1972, when he was elected to the Mineola Board of Education at age 18.  While he's as much a standard issue New York liberal Democrat as the next guy, we can assume that Tom likes his job and doesn't want to be held responsible for the Empire State's bankruptcy, or a potential Federal takeover leading the the dissolution of what was once the world's beacon of freedom and opportunity.  So it's no surprise that Tom might actually look into some of our rulers' more wasteful spending.
More tax breaks does not equal more jobs.
That's according to State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli's latest report on New York's industrial development agencies (IDAs).
In his fifth report on IDAs [PDF], DiNapoli says the number of jobs created by the local economic development engines dropped by 22,000 from the year before.
DiNapoli also cites a $483 million gap in what IDAs gave out in tax breaks and how much they took in via payments-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOTs).
That breaks down, the report finds, to a $2,659 cost per job - up 9 percent from the year before.
"Taxpayers are not getting enough bang for their buck when it comes to IDAs," DiNapoli said in a statement.
Tom may be on to something, if Seneca County's IDA is any indication.  Rather than bringing the county a Toyota assembly plant or an Apple Computer research facility, the IDA seems to just be making work for itself.
The owner and operator of a proposed new McDonald’s Restaurant at 2500 Mound Road will likely receive financial assistance from the Seneca County Industrial Development Agency.
James Coriale, president of Jascor Inc., the owner-operator of the existing McDonald’s on Mound Road, has received town approval to demolish the existing building and construct a new restaurant on the same site.
It appears that struggling Finger Lakes taxpayers are once again being forced to subsidize a profitable business that, absent the generosity of the Seneca County IDA, most likely could have updated its facility without taxpayer cash.  Beneficiary James Coriale, a successful businessman, actually owns six McDonalds' restaurants.
"We look forward to a welcoming everyone to our grand re-opening later this year," said Coriale. Jim Coriale owns six McDonald’s Restaurants, with locations in Penn Yan and Ovid, in addition to McDonald's in Walmart locations in Camillus, Horseheads, & Watkins Glen.
We enjoy Mr. Coriale's restaurants and we congratulate him on building a successful business in one of the most anti-business climates in the US.  We just don't have any extra cash to invest right now, and it seems Tom DiNapoli may be starting to figure that out.

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