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DiNapoli audit questions Start-Up NY ad spending

May 12, 2015 12:03 am
Laura Nahmias is reporting at Capital New York in an audit released Mon., May 11, state comptroller Tom DiNapoli criticized the state’s decision to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising to promote Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s economic development programs. A press release accompanying the audit said the Empire State Development agency spent $211 million in advertising "with no tangible results." The funds were spent to promote five different economic development programs, including Start-Up NY, which creates tax-free areas around college campuses, in an attempt to draw businesses to relocate or set up shop in the state. DiNapoli’s audit was sharply critical of the program, which has come under fire from critics for the number of jobs it has created. Empire State Development said earlier this year the program created 76 jobs in 2014, generating just under $57,000 in tax benefits. DiNapoli said the ad spending to support Start-Up NY had been conducted without clear guidance from the state on what it hoped to achieve. The audit also found the agency continued to allocate more and more funding to promote the program, despite a precipitous decline in applications from potential enrollees. Read the full story at Capital New York.