Audit Report# 2014-S-10, issued by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli on May 11th, highlights the ineffectiveness of state-paid advertising to promote job creation. The agency involved is the Empire State Development Corporation. The advertising, as seen on TV, when our governor was running for office, was called “Open for Business” , and more recently “Startup-NY.”
The audit found that during the period October 2013 and October 2014 the state spent $45 million to advertise “Start-up NY. As reported by Albany Watch on April 13th the program resulted in only 76 new jobs in its first year. The pro and cons are Cuomo’s claim that we are establishing a strong foundation and building considerable momentum, or according to Assemblyman Dean Murray (R-East Patchoque) “Gimmick programs that are just not working.” Least your undecided consider the following:
1) that ESDC does not publicly assess “whether individual projects would have occurred without its involvement, or the overall impact of its programs on economic performance over other states.”
2) ESDC debt totals $10.7 billion (a 13% increase year/year) with “backdoor borrowing” used with no requirement for voter approval.
3) Subsidiary corporation’s founded are not adequately overseen by ESDC and rarely dissolved once their purpose (a start-up) has been achieved.
4) ESDC (whose board is mostly controlled by gubernatorial appointees) has 290 employees, nearly 23 % of which make at least $100,000.