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October 19, 2006

The ESDC "released" the "independent" fiscal "impact analysis"

In case you early birds missed the breaking news yesterday afternoon, the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) finally gave up the "independent economic impact analysis." This highly sought-after report was cited in Section G of the General Project Plan, and had been requested by Atlantic Yards Report business desk reporter Norman Oder, Assemblymember Jim Brennan and Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn attorney Jeff Baker. You can now download your own copy here.

Thus far, the only media source to publish an analysis of the report is Atlantic Yards Report, which basically concludes, "HUH???" Norman Oder notes that "there's no reference to public contributions or public costs. In other words, it's a fiscal benefit analysis, not an impact analysis."

This morning, Gowanus Lounge commented:

We have seen our share of economic impact statements attached to big projects in our day. We are keenly aware that very few are worth the paper they are printed on.
This Atlantic Yards document--which one presumes was released because the complete stonewall of Freedom of Information Law requests could have presented another issue for lawyers litigating against the project to pursue--sets a new standard for obfuscation.

Yesterday was Bring-NoLandGrab-to-School Day (which surprisingly was held to much less fanfare than Bring-Vince Carter-to-School Day). But we were deeply impressed by the students' questions, including, "How much public money is being spent on Atlantic Yards?" Yesterday morning, the answer was, we don't know because the government won't tell us. Today's answer is... we don't know because the government won't tell us.

We're sorry that the ESDC let down Ms. Jaffe's class at John Jay HS, but we hope that these bright students will continue to ask the right questions in whichever career path they may choose.

Posted by lumi at October 19, 2006 9:28 AM