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Study suggests companies take advantage of tax breaks without adding jobs

Billions of dollars in corporate tax subsidies are spent each year in New York. But according to a new report, companies enjoying those breaks are not creating their fair share of jobs.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - Billions of dollars in corporate tax subsidies are spent each year in New York. But according to a new report, companies enjoying those breaks are not creating their fair share of jobs.

In theory, subsidies to businesses like grants, tax exemptions, and tax credits are supposed to fuel the economy. But, a new report by ALIGN and the Getting Our Money's Worth Coalition claims that the most recent Industrial Development Agency (IDA) data for projects ending in 2011 shows that 33% of net spending resulted in no job promises, no job creation or a loss of jobs.

The same results were reported with 72% of overall IDA projects. Central New York was given the highest failure rate at 85%.

"I don't understand how they get away with not doing that,” said Syracuse resident Michelle Frankel.

The report claims big companies like Target are able to take advantage of multiple subsidy programs in New York because regional councils aren't coordinated.

The groups are pushing state lawmakers to enact reforms that would require businesses to set clear targets, be held accountable with tracking, and even consider a "money back guarantee."

"I see all these large businesses getting tax breaks, getting subsidies, saying we're going to bring industry and jobs into your area, but I don't see that,” said Tom Radtke as he headed to dinner in Armory Square.

While the study suggests companies may be taking advantage of the state programs, an economic development official warned that a lack of tax breaks in New York may drive companies to take advantage of incentives offered in other states.

The report claims to analyze spending and large projects in about half of the big subsidy programs that release their data. If you want to compare their findings across the state, click here.

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