Friday, January 09, 2009

Brodsky, Brennan to hold hearing on Yankees' bond request a day before IDA hearing

The latest sports facility deals may have hit a bump in the road. Yes, the New York City Industrial Development Authority (IDA) has scheduled a hearing January 15 on $342 million in new tax-exempt bonds the New York Yankees and the New York Mets are requesting from the city, with a board meeting on approval the very next day.

Not so fast, say Assemblymembers Richard Brodsky and Jim Brennan, who chair the Committee on Cities and the Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions respectively. They've scheduled a hearing January 14 "in the face of the refusal by the City to postpone a final decision until a full understanding of the law and the facts could be brought forward."

(Update: Location is 250 Broadway, at 10 a.m. It looks like city officials won't make it.)

"The City's attempt to ram through this complicated project without disclosure of its implications is not acceptable as the Legislature considers what changes in State law it ought to be making," Brodsky said.

"I'm concerned about the consequences of diverting property tax revenue to repay these bonds for such a lengthy period of time for the benefit of a wealthy company," Brennan said.

(Would they say the same about a similar request for the Atlantic Yards arena?)

Witnesses invited include representatives of the Yankees, the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the IDA, and the Finance Department, including the assessor responsible for the curious increase in the rise in assessed land value for Yankee Stadium.

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