The ABO’s report questions the effectiveness of the manner in which the state approaches economic development. Statewide, $38.5 million in net tax exemptions were provided to 316 IDA-approved projects in 2015. However, the ABO found that there is “little correlation between the number of public authorities in a given county involved with economic development or the number of projects that receive financial assistance from IDAs (industrial development agencies) private sector job growth.”
The ABO is seeking greater authority to carry out enforcement actions, saying that voluntary reporting by public authorities is falling short. According to the report, about 125 public authorities are delinquent and out of compliance with state law requiring them to submit reports detailing their work in any given year.