What is an IDA?
New York State established Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs) in 1969. The Putnam County Industrial Development Agency is a public benefit corporation of the State of New York, which was created on August 31, 1995 pursuant to Article 18-A, Title 2 of the General Municipal Law of the State of New York.
Industrial Development Agencies are authorized to promote, develop, encourage and assist in the acquiring, constructing, reconstructing, improving, maintaining, equipping and finishing industrial, manufacturing, warehousing, commercial, research, educational or cultural facilities not to exclude commercial and retail facilities to advance job opportunities and enhance the health, general prosperity and economic welfare of the people in New York State and Putnam County. This “Mission Statement” & listing of goals and objectives are reviewed and updated annually.
What does the IDA do?
The Putnam County IDA provides incentives for private sector business investments and job creation resulting in economic growth and improved quality of life.
The Putnam County IDA coordinates these incentives for each project which are typically delivered in the form of real property tax exemption, sometimes offset by payment in lieu of taxes (PILOTS), sales tax exemption on project related construction materials and equipment, New York State Mortgage Recording tax exemption or other negotiated local incentives.
The primary way the Putnam County IDA promotes economic growth is through the issuance of tax exempt or taxable industrial development revenue bonds for businesses that wish to locate or expand their operation in Putnam County. Machinery and equipment may be financed with Putnam County IDA bonds. The Putnam County IDA issues the bonds; it does not loan money directly to the Company seeking IDA assistance; rather, a financial institution loans the funds to the Company through the IDA. Most often a bank or underwriter will purchase the bonds and, in effect, make the loan to the Company.
The bonds are secured by the financial strength and credit of the applicant and by a mortgage on the facility financed with the bonds. It is not unusual to request additional collateral to secure the bond issuance.
A second way the Putnam County IDA can promote economic growth is through a Sale/Leaseback transaction. The Sale/Leaseback transaction or “Straight-Lease” option requires the applicant to secure project financing through banks or private sources without utilizing bond issuance. In this transaction, the Company conveys title to the project to the Putnam County IDA. The Putnam County IDA agrees to grant mortgages on and security interest in the project in favor of the lenders in behalf of the Company.
The purpose of this kind of transaction is to make the tax management capabilities of the Putnam County IDA available to a project without including the Putnam County IDA in the financing for a project to reduce the complexity and expense involved in the transaction. The Putnam County IDA will re-convey title to the project or company at an agreed upon date; normally at the end of the PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Tax) abatement period for the project.
How is the IDA funded?
Due to the low interest rates available and changes to New York State’s requirements for Industrial Revenue Bonds, Putnam County is considering giving the Industrial Development Agency some funding. The State’s requirements are extremely burdensome to small IDA’s and are one more example of unfunded mandates.
We operate on a modest annual budget which is partially supported by project fees remitted to the IDA for services.
- The IDA imposes a 1% processing fee on the estimated cost of a bond project only. This is a one-time fee payable in full on the sale of the bonds.
- The IDA imposes an annual fee of $2,500 or 10% of sales tax/mortgage transfer tax savings, whichever is greater, on straight-lease projects. In general, sales tax exclusion provisions only apply for 1 to 2 years or until a project is completed. The mortgage transfer tax exclusion is a “one time” event.
- The Project Applicant is responsible for the processing fees, Putnam County IDA Counsel fees, Bond Counsel fees and other direct expenses of the IDA including, but not limited to, accounting and engineering expenses.
How is the Putnam County IDA governed and managed?
The Putnam County IDA is governed by a Board of Directors that is appointed by the Putnam County Legislature. Board members are recommended for appointment to the Chairman of the IDA based upon relative experience and geographic residence, to ensure the best qualified individual representative of all municipalities in the County. Board members are appointed for three (3) year terms and, upon Board approval, are confirmed by the Legislature. All IDA Board Members serve as uncompensated volunteers.
In addition, the New York State ABO requires each IDA to appoint a Chief Executive Officer and a Chief Financial Officer to serve the IDA as non-voting staff. Job descriptions for each function can be found in the Putnam County IDA website under By-Laws.
The IDA also retains legal counsel to coordinate and deliver legal services to include, but not limited to, all aspects of straight-lease transactions and tax-exempt-taxable bond projects.
The Putnam County IDA has appointed Board Members to staff Committees, namely an Audit Committee and a Governance Committee. It is expected these Committees will meet separately from or in conjunction with the IDA Board meetings to discuss and recommend policies concerning evaluations and operations.
In addition, the State requires that Putnam County IDA to maintain various policies and procedures
which are posted on our website.
The IDA is also required to procure the services of an outside accounting firm to audit our activities each year. This audit, once approved by the Board of Directors, is posted on our website (and retained on the site for three (3) years).
ThePutnam County IDA is an active member of the Putnam Red Carpet Business Alliance. This is an
organization comprised of all social services available to prospective and active business interest in Putnam County. This involves the EDC/IDA, the Department of Labor, Putnam Workforce Partnership, the Community Colleges of Dutchess & Westchester, SCORE and NYSERDA.
What geographic area may be considered for IDA benefits?
The Putnam County IDA serves all communities within Putnam County. It should be noted, however, that clients wishing to qualify for tax benefits and/or employee grants through the EDC/IDA must complete an application to the IDA before any contracts or agreements are signed.
What laws apply to the Putnam County IDA?
The following State laws are binding on the operation of our IDA:
- Open Meeting Law: The IDA must give notice to the public of all Board Meetings and Public Hearings. All Meetings and Hearings are open to the public and Notices must be published in the County Authorized Newspapers (established by the Putnam County Legislature) at least one (1) week in advance for Board Meetings and ten (10) days in advance for Public Hearings.With regard to IDA Board Meetings, the public may attend and comment on any Agenda item(s) at the end of the Meeting, after being acknowledged by the Chairman of the Board. The public is welcome to submit written questions in advance of the meeting regarding Agenda items.
With regard to Public Hearings, the public may submit written comments, positive or negative, prior to the Hearing or they may request an opportunity to address the Public Hearing. In either case, the Public Hearing Officer is not required to comment on the questions/comments submitted due to legal restraint. Board Members are not required to attend the Public Hearing. The time and date of the Public Hearing is determined by the Chairman of the Board and/or the Chief Executive Officer. The purpose of the Public Hearing is to gather public comment/concerns about a proposed Project that has been submitted to the IDA. Once the Public Hearing has been closed, the Hearing Officer completes a Public Hearing Report and submits it to the Board for review at an IDA Board Meeting. At this Board Meeting, the public is invited to participate and comment on the recommendations of the Board.
- State Environment Quality Review: Requires that the IDA comply with Article 8 of the New York Environment Conservation Law and the implementing regulations of SEQR.
- Freedom of Information Law (“FOIL”): The IDA must comply with Article 6 of the New York Public Officers Law which requires, with limited exceptions, the IDA must provide public access to the records of the agency. A public request to “pick up” or receive mailed copies of records released under FOIL will be accommodated at a cost of 25� per individual copy plus applicable mailing costs (if any). The IDA must receive funds for copies mailed out prior to releasing documents to the Post Office.
- Conflict of Interest: The IDA must comply with Article 18 of the New York General Municipal Law defining “conflicts of interest” and the IDA is bound by Section 810(3) of the New York Municipal Law regarding Putnam County IDA Board Members, Officers and employees for the purpose of “State Ethics Law” including annual financial disclosure.
What benefits can the IDA administer/coordinate, and to whom?
Our Mission Statement outlines the type of projects the IDA may undertake, as specified in Article 18-A of the New York General Municipal Law.
Potential IDA benefits may include, but not limited to:
- Federal and State interest exemption on bond issues.
- Other State and Local tax benefits:
- Exemption from the New YorkState mortgage recording tax;
- Exemption from the New York State and County sales tax for the purchase of equipment and building supplies for a period of 1 – 2 years, as defined by the completion of the project.
- Real property tax exemption, offset through a PILOT (payment in lieu of tax) agreement.
- Standard Tax Abatements are as follows (but may be modified based on the number and quality of jobs created):Year of Exemption / % of Total Tax Reduction*1/50%
*Net Tax Reduction = 27.5% of 10 year obligation
What factors does the IDA consider in administering tax abatements?
Primary objective: Create capital investment and jobs.
- The number of jobs to be created with emphasis on full-time positions
- A timeline that will lead to development within 1 – 5 years of application
- Opportunity to increase skill levels of the local workforce
- The extent to which the business enhances strategic development goals adopted by the EDC and IDA
All project are to be considered on a case-by-case basis provided applicant is consistent with the provisions of 18-A of the General Municipal Law.
What is the process of securing IDA tax incentives?
- The Company requesting IDA benefits must complete the IDA Application Form and the Environmental Assessment Form (EAF).
- Once the completed Application and Application fee are received by the IDA, the Application and EAF form are sent to the IDA legal counsel for review.
- Upon approving opinion by the IDA Counsel, the Board will then be asked to pass a “Preliminary Inducement Resolution”.
- Once the Resolution has been adopted, the IDA is required to schedule a Public Hearing to receive comments concerning the Project from the public.
- Notice of the Public Hearing and Summary of Comments are forwarded to IDA legal counsel for review.
- The applicant is then required to secure final approval of the PILOT Agreement from the County, Town and School District(s). Once this approval is received, the IDA may move forward to a closing.
- IDA Board adopts SEQRA Resolution.
- IDA Board adopts “authorizing resolution” allowing for execution and delivery of the contracts in the transaction.