New York's fiscal watchdog wants lawmakers to give his office more power over economic development organizations that he says are being misused in some cases, by local governments in New York state. Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has his eye on Local Development Corporations.
Also called LDCs, these Local Development Corporations are supposed to allow local governments to help spur economic development, through loans and grants, and in some cases real estate purchases. The comptroller's office has no power to look into the books of the 270 or so LDCs across the state, but through local government audits, DiNapoli's office has found some misuse of the LDC power. DiNapoli says that he wants "more clear opportunity for our office, the Comptroller's office, to have a direct audit authority over LDCs." DiNapoli says some of the problems his office has discovered include include Monroe County officials using an LDC to issue bonds to cover operating expenses and Ramapo town officials leaving tax payers potentially liable for the construction of a minor league stadium through an LDC. DiNapoli says these things ultimately cost taxpayers millions.