According to an audit that Comptroller DiNapoli released last week, the state’s $211.5 million advertising campaign intended to help boost the economy has shown no tangible results.

The Comptroller’s office looked at the program from December 2011 to November 2014, and concluded that Empire State Development (ESD) received the advertising services it paid for at a fair price.  The contract was for promotion of five different state economic development programs, including Start-Up NY, which creates tax-free areas around college campuses, in an attempt to draw businesses to relocate or set up shop in the state.

However, the audit found that ESD was not able to quantify and assess tangible results effectively, raising “real doubts’’ about the value of the advertising campaign, which was intended to attract businesses to the state.

ESD disagreed with the Comptroller’s assessment of the campaign, saying that the advertising is not expected to produce direct economic results, but rather “improv[e] public perceptions of New York as a place to visit and for business development.”

The START-UP NY program has only been in place for a short time, and we’re willing to give it more time to see whether it is really working.  But in the meantime, we’d like to see more tax relief from Albany for the rest of us who don’t qualify for START-UP.