Westchester County Association, Building Contractors Assn., Construction Industry Council and Nonprofit Westchester Had Jointly Pushed for the LDC
Marissa Brett, executive director of The Blueprint for Westchester the Westchester County Association’s economic development initiative, commended the Westchester County Board of Legislators for their vote last night to...
$128 million in LDC financing was approved on day one.
create a Local Development Corporation (LDC). The WCA had joined forces with business, labor, and the non-profit to push for the LDC over recent weeks.
The result, she said, will be to give nonprofit organizations access to low interest, tax-exempt financing for major capital projects that the business sector often accesses through IDAs. Since 2008, the Industrial Development Association for Westchester County has not had the legal authority to serve the nonprofit community.
“An LDC in this county will open doors for the nonprofit community – healthcare, education, cultural and similar organizations – to have access to the same low-interest financing opportunities that for-profit organizations enjoy,” Brett said. “Most important, the existence of an LDC will help advance economic development in the county and create jobs in this difficult economic climate.”
She said the Westchester County Association, Building Contractors Association/Construction Industry Council, and Nonprofit Westchester had issued a joint statement in support of the LDC and sent it to the BOL last month.
“We urged the BOL to Vote for Progress,” she said. Pressure for the creation of a Westchester LDC grew after a provision of state law that permitted IDAs to issue tax-free bonds to nonprofit organizations expired in 2008.
According to Brett, local labor will get a seat on the Westchester LDC, which also will encourage use of Project Labor Agreements by applicants. Ross Pepe, president of the Building Contractors Association/Construction Industry Council, noted enthusiastically that, “the LDC will create hundreds of millions in new building construction activity and nonprofit growth throughout Westchester County.”
Joanna Straub, executive director of Nonprofit Westchester, pointed out that with an LDC there is no financial risk to Westchester County, “as the county is not obtaining bonds based on its credit. Rather, a nonprofit organization will obtain the low-interest bonds based on its own credentials, and get to benefit from Westchester’s Triple A credit rating.”
The BCA/CIC and NPW joined with the Westchester County Association in pushing for the creation of the LDC because all believe that the LDC will accelerate large capital projects and capital investment in the county that had been languishing for lack of incentives and funding, and hampered by a sluggish economy.
“This is the tool that Westchester needs,” notes Brett. “This is a win-win for Westchester.”