The New York City Industrial Development Agency, over the objections of three board members, last week approved conducting a study of the impact of wage requirements on subsidized development projects.
A City Council bill introduced last month would require workers on city-subsidized developments be paid a “living wage,” a rate higher than the minimum wage. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who effectively controls the IDA and the city’s affiliated Economic Development Corp., opposes the bill. IDA staff said it would choose a consultant to conduct the $1 million study from five firms, which it declined to name.
Comptroller John Liu, whose representative on the board voted against the study, said the “EDC is intent on squandering a million dollars on this charade of a study.”
“An independent, impartial study on wage requirements for publicly subsidized economic development could be helpful to all parties involved,” he said. “The consultant contract proposal before us today, however, fails to ensure the delivery of an objective product.”
EDC president and IDA chairman Seth Pinsky said an advisory committee would review the findings prior to their release next year. “We feel confident the information we’re going to get will be accurate, rigorous, and analytic,” he said.