“The Orange County IDA recently announced their intention to move forward with property tax breaks for housing development, an unprecedented move in the agency’s 50-year history. This flagrant, continued disregard for taxpayers is exactly why the State Legislature recently approved a first-of-its-kind monitor with veto power to be installed within the IDA.
“Over 125,000 houses and apartment units exist in Orange County. Every single one of them was able to be developed without Orange County IDA tax breaks. Yet now, for some reason, the IDA is trying to argue housing development requires taxpayer-funded subsidies? We and our county taxpayers see this move for exactly what it is: a sham.
“The ‘I’ in ‘IDA’ stands for industrial and there is nothing industrial about housing; in fact, it is an open question whether approving local incentives for housing is even legal under state law. Furthermore, one of the missions of IDAs is to create good-paying, long-lasting jobs. Other than perhaps a single handyman, these projects offer little to no permanent job creation.
“Again, this behavior underscores the need for the forthcoming state-appointed monitor within the Orange County IDA. Accountability is coming.”
James Skoufis represents the 42nd Senate District which encompasses most of Orange County. Jeff Pearlman is the Director of the Authorities Budget Office (ABO) which provides state oversight of IDAs.