It cost the state's Industrial Development Agencies $332 more to create jobs in 2007 as compared to 2006 - and even though the state's IDAs reported 317 more projects in 2007 as compared to 2006, the number of jobs created declined by more than 2,000 during that same period of time.
That's according to a report that was released Thursday by Thomas P. DiNapoli, state comptroller.
''Costs are up, borrowing is up but the number of jobs is down,'' DiNapoli said in his report. ''We need to evaluate the effectiveness of IDAs to make sure taxpayers are getting the right bang for their buck.''
Industrial Development Agencies, or IDAs, are independent public authorities that offer real property tax, sales and mortgage recording tax exemptions and low interest rate bonds to attract, retain and expand businesses. There are currently 115 active IDAs in New York.
According to DiNapoli's report, IDAs reported 4,130 projects in 2007 - the last year for which such statistics were available - that amounted to more than $60.7 billion and created more than 226,600 jobs. In 2006, IDAs reported 3,813 projects amounting to more than $41 billion and resulting in the creation of more than 228,900 jobs.
The average cost per job in 2007 was $4,527, while in 2006 the average cost per job was $4,195 - an increase of nearly 8 percent.
''Those job figures are often based solely on estimates made by the various IDAs and are not independently verified - and that has been a problem noted in previous audits conducted by my office,'' DiNapoli said.
In 2007, the Chautauqua County IDA reported 34 projects totaling $199,250,161. Those projects created an estimated 777 jobs, according to DiNapoli's report, at a cost of about $1,291 per job.
''The goal, obviously, is to decrease the costs,'' said Bill Daly, IDA director. ''Sometimes, though, it's just the nature of the projects we're involved in. Next year, those numbers could be up.''
Daly said he would like to take credit for the improved new county job numbers, but knows an important part of the IDAs mission is to also retain jobs.
''Even if you don't create a lot of new jobs, retaining jobs is important,'' he said. ''Job retention is a big part now. Keeping local companies and getting them to expand.''
Daly said when these types of numbers are released from the state he does a regional comparison with other Western New York counties.
''Overall, what I look at is the summary. We know where we stand as a county and we try to compare that to other counties around us,'' he said. ''I think we look pretty good.''
The city of Dunkirk IDA reported only one project in 2007 that totaled $1.9 million. It created an estimated one job at a cost of $3,676.
By contrast, the city of Salamanca IDA reported no active projects in 2007.
DiNapoli said statewide, the amount of tax exemptions increased - of the nearly $970 million in total tax exemptions reported in 2007, exemptions from property taxes accounted for $652 million, or 67 percent. Exemptions from state and local sales taxes and mortgage recording taxes accounted for the remaining 33 percent. These exemptions were offset by payments-lieu-of-taxes that totaled $377 million in 2007 compared to $333 million in 2006.
The Chautauqua County IDA reported $9.41 million in total tax exemptions, which was mostly offset by $7.62 million in payments-lieu-of-taxes. The city of Dunkirk IDA reported almost $130,000 in total exemptions, offset by only $30,000 in payments-lieu-of-taxes.