Operational Review of three Economic Development Entities Audit I.D. # 3456 Issued by the Authorities Budget Office -December 20, 2011 Executive Summary:

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In addition to the Schenectady County Dep’t. of Economic Development and the City of Schenectady Dep’t. of Development, seven local authorities have been created for economic development purposes. The audit found the mission statements of all authorities is similar i.e. create jobs and spur development, increase property values, expand the local tax base and increase sales tax revenues. To accomplish their mission they provide a variety of financial assistance that includes the issuance of tax exempt debt and providing exemptions from mortgage and sales taxes, property tax abatements, grants and loans. It appears that the authorities are relatively successful in accomplishing their missions, although employment results are not as positive.
The audit concludes that these accomplishments are not a result of the structure in place. Instead, we believe that the results of Schenectady County could be equally and more cost-effectively served by fewer authorities. We are also concerned that some authorities may be providing inappropriate types of financial assistance.


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