Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"Yanks beaned taxpayers, stadium report says" Daily News 9/16/8

Yanks beaned taxpayers, stadium report says
Tuesday, September 16th 2008, 4:37 AM

ALBANY -The new Yankee stadium got up to $850 million in taxpayer investments but will create just 15 permanent jobs, a scathing new report charges.

Assemblyman Richard Brodsky (D-Westchester) will release the 30-page "House That You Built" report today; it comes as the team finishes its final home stand at its old historic ballpark.

The report says the Yanks got $336 million from the city and state and up to $500 million in interest savings on IRS-approved tax-exempt bonds.

It slams the city Industrial Development Agency, saying it "may have violated existing law in its creation of massive amounts of public debt and its failure to assure public benefits from the massive taxpayer investment."

The Daily News first reported many of the findings in the report, which charges:

- The city "manipulated" the assessed value of the stadium to meet the need for an IRS tax exemption. The city appraised the value of the new stadium land at $21 million, but told the IRS it was worth $204 million.

- "Sworn commitments" to the IRS and the National Park Service were not kept.

- The Industrial Development Agency and the mayor's office "secretly" acquired a luxury suite.

- The city failed to protect fans from "excessive ticket price increases."

Yankees spokeswoman Alice McGillion slammed Brodsky - who heads the Assembly's Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee - as a lying attention-grubber.

"Assemblyman Brodsky has never let an accurate fact stand in the way of his grandstanding in a press release or press conference," she said.

"The new stadium will create approximately 1,000 additional union jobs than exist in the present stadium, not the 15 he states," she said.

"This is in addition to the 5,000 union construction workers" working on the project, she said.

Andrew Brent, a mayoral spokesman, was also critical of Brodsky.

"One would think that, in these difficult economic times, the last thing [he] would want to do is trash billion-dollar private investments that he supported before opposing," Brent said.

McGillion noted that Brodsky voted for "cash bailouts" for the New York Racing Association and okayed tax incentives for Monticello Raceway.

"His hypocrisy is evident," she said.



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