By NICOLE ANTONUCCI
FONDA -- The Montgomery County Legislature is considering an opportunity to provide tax-exempt bond financing for not-profit agencies to promote economic development.
The Economic Development and Planning Committee passed a resolution to the full board Tuesday to create a Montgomery County Capital Resource Corp. which would function similarly to the Montgomery County Industrial Development Agency.
"It's a mirror image of the IDA but the only purpose of this entity is to issue bonds for not-for-profit entities within the county," IDA Special Counsel Christopher Martell said. "Any bonds issued by this agency doesn't impact the county."
According to Kenneth Rose, director of the county Depart-ment of Economic Development & Planning, the idea for this came about after BOCES submitted an application to the IDA to refinance its bonds.
"BOCES is looking to refinance so their interest rates are lower. The capital resource corporation would be the mechanism to do that," he said.
Without it the county would not be able to assist BOCES or other agencies.
In 2008 provisions in the state General Municipal Law that permitted the IDA and other industrial development agencies in the state to provide tax-exempt revenue bond financing for the benefit of charitable entities expired. As a result, industrial development agencies have not been able to provide financial assistance to projects owned or operated by not-for-profit corporations.
"Historically, the ability of IDAs to provide tax-exempt revenue bond financing to charitable entities has been a very important economic development tool," Rose said. "The agency's involvement in these types of financings increase employment opportunities for residents of the county and allow local not-for-profit corporations to upgrade their facilities at the lowest possible cost."
Rose said the CRC would generally exist for the same public purposes as the agency.
According to the resolution, local development corporations are created to assist not-for-profit corporations that are undertaking projects that relieve and reduce unemployment; promote and provide for additional and maximum employment; better and maintain job opportunities; instruct or train individuals to improve or develop their capabilities; carry on scientific research for the purpose of aiding a community or geographical area by attracting new industry to the community or area or by encouraging the development of, or retention of, an industry in the community or area; and lessen the burdens of government and act in the public interest.
Martell said the county's CRC meets those criteria since BOCES provides job training programs and other programs that prepare people for the workforce.
The county legislature's next regular meeting is May 27.