Today, along with Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer’s Office, Good Jobs New York released subsidy snapshots, user-friendly maps of Manhattan firms that have received job-creation or retention subsidies.
Subsidy snapshots are an attempt to simplify nearly 600 pages of company specific data on subsidy deals. We’re hopeful that the more information New Yorkers have on how subsidies are allocated, the more inclusive the city will be in addressing the needs of all New Yorkers.
We chose to focus on Manhattan first because this is where some of most egregious subsidies have occurred. Also the Manhattan Borough President, who has an appointee on the Industrial Development Agency board (the subsidy issuing arm of the city), has successfully pushed for more transparency at the agency.
We’ve learned the hard way that you can’t leave it up to City Hall to make sure subsidized firms like Merrill Lynch, Pfizer, MetLife and Bank of America keep their promises made in exchange for tax-breaks. That’s why we’re rolling this information out to the leaders of New York City’s diverse neighborhoods via community boards, which are a critical component in accountability. We also want the snapshots to be a tool for workforce professionals looking for companies to hire or provide training or apprenticeship opportunities for their clients.
Later this year we’ll release subsidy snapshots for Queens followed by The Bronx. And next year we tackle Brooklyn and Staten Island.