Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"Kucinich Steps Up Pressure on NYC Officials" Press release from Congressman Kucinich's office 10/15/8

For Immediate Release:

Contact: Nathan White (202) 225-5871

Kucinich Steps Up Pressure on NYC Officials
Cooperation Insufficient in Subcommittee’s Investigation of Stadium Finances

Washington D.C. (October 15, 2008) – In a letter to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Chairman of the Domestic Policy Subcommittee, yesterday raised serious questions about the City of New York ’s assessment of the new Yankee Stadium that was used in the issuance of federally tax-exempt bonds for the stadium’s construction. Congressman Kucinich requested that the City fully comply with previous Subcommittee requests for documents related to the assessment issue in advance of the Subcommittee’s October 24, 2008 hearing.

The Domestic Policy Subcommittee has previously held three hearings examining the use of federal tax-exempt financing for construction of professional sports stadiums and arenas and has focused on federal regulation of the use of payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs), an innovative financing mechanism pursued by the City for its stadium projects. The October 24th hearing will examine whether City officials reported to the Internal Revenue Service and prospective bond purchasers an improperly inflated value for the stadium in an order to secure more PILOTs for the stadium construction and whether the City’s efforts to stop finalization of proposed U.S. Department of Treasury regulations that would effectively prohibit the use of PILOTs in this context serve the public interest.

Mr. Seth Pinsky , President of the New York City Economic Development Corporation and Mr. Randy Levine, President of the New York Yankees, have agreed to testify at October 24th hearing. In the letter, Congressman Kucinich requested that Ms. Martha Stark, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Finance, the City agency that conducted the stadium assessment, also testify at the hearing and that the City finally produce documents related to the assessment issue that were due on August 6, 2008. Despite repeated promises, the Yankees still have not produced many of the documents related to the assessment that were due on that same date.

Click the title above to read Congressman Kucinich's letter to Mayor Bloomberg


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