Updated June 9, 2016 6:00 AM
This building, one of two on the South Service Road in Melville, is home to 1,660 jobs, the most created by a project receiving tax breaks from the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency. It is shown on April 27, 2016. Photo Credit: Johnny Milano
Building projects awarded tax breaks by the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency have created 13,817 permanent jobs in recent years, the second most among the state’s 109 active IDAs, according to a new report.
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said his annual review of IDAs found that the Suffolk IDA was the top job creator in the state after the New York City IDA, which backed projects recently that hired 48,859 workers.
IDAs in Monroe County, home to Rochester; Oneida County; and the Buffalo suburb of Amherst Town rounded out the top five in terms of jobs created based on 2014 data, the most recent available.
The data in the report includes IDA projects still receiving tax exemptions and subject to employment commitments. IDA benefits can be awarded over decades.
The hiring in Suffolk occurred at 131 projects, with a combined value of $2.2 billion and tax breaks of $7.2 million per year after payments in lieu of taxes. The tax exemptions equal $520 for every job gained.
The project that created the most jobs in the county — 1,660 — was two office buildings constructed on the South Service Road of the Long Island Expressway in Melville by then-Reckson Associates. The deal, which closed in 1999, was valued at $81 million.
The Nassau County Industrial Development Agency has supported 180 projects with a total value of $3 billion and tax breaks of $35 million per year after payments in lieu of taxes. Together, the projects have created 6,050 jobs and the tax exemptions equal $5,856 for every position added.
Among Long Island’s five town IDAs and one city IDA, Babylon was the jobs leader.
Babylon has backed 165 projects with a combined value of $1.2 billion and tax breaks of $9.7 million per year. The tax exemptions equal $1,647 for each of the 5,895 jobs created.
DiNapoli also found that local IDAs paid some of the highest salaries in the state in 2014.
Nassau IDA executive director Joseph J. Kearney earned $191,000, the second most after the CEO of the Genesee County IDA Steven G. Hyde. Kearney’s salary equaled 8 percent of the Nassau IDA’s 2014 revenue.
Fred Parola, CEO of the Hempstead IDA, placed No. 4 with pay of $169,460, or 11 percent of the agency’s 2014 revenue.
The fifth-highest-paid IDA official in the state was Anthony J. Catapano of the Suffolk IDA, who earned $151,099, or 25 percent of the agency’s 2014 revenue.
The Island is also is home to one of the top five projects with the largest tax exemptions: the Covanta waste-to-energy plant.
The Westbury facility ranked fourth in the state with $15.7 million in tax breaks per year. There is no requirement for payments in lieu of taxes under a 2006 agreement with the Hempstead Town IDA, according to DiNapoli.
Covanta employs 84 people at the plant — the same number it had when operations began.
A total of 765 projects given tax breaks recently by Long Island’s eight IDAs have created 43,400 jobs as of 2014, the most recent available data.
Suffolk County IDA, 13,817 jobs
Nassau County IDA, 6,050
Babylon Town IDA, 5,895
Brookhaven Town IDA, 5,605
Islip Town IDA, 5,491
Hempstead Town IDA, 5,477
Riverhead Town IDA, 991
City of Glen Cove IDA, 75
Source: Office of NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli