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January 29, 2007

DDDB Press Release:
Public Cost of 'Atlantic Yards' Continues to Balloon

City Doubles Direct Taxpayer Subsidy for Ratner Plan From $100 Million to $205 Million

Moneyscales-green.gifNEW YORK, NY—Ratner gets richer as the public’s burden for 'Atlantic Yards' increases yet again

New York City’s taxpayers have now been forced to double their direct cash subsidy for Bruce Ratner’s “Atlantic Yards.” The subsidy has climbed from $100 million to $205 million as revealed in the new City budget. The ballooning number comes after the project received its only political approval by the State’s Public Authorities Control Board in December, amounting to a bait and switch at taxpayer expense.

The new $205 million taxpayer subsidy is only part of the City’s subsidy package to Ratner, a package which includes tax abatements and credits, housing subsidies, undervalued City-owned land, and a blank check called “extraordinary infrastructure costs.” The total subsidy and public investment from the City and State comes much closer to $2 billion).

“We’ve always known that Bruce Ratner’s ‘Atlantic Yards’ would cost the public much more than we’re being told. This doubling of the City’s taxpayer cash subsidy to $205 million for Ratner’s project is just the first blast of helium into a very large balloon of public money,” said Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn spokesperson Daniel Goldstein. “There will be many more installments made to Ratner under a blank public check euphemistically called ‘extraordinary infrastructure costs.’ Who will put a stop to this?”

When the City, Forest City Ratner and the State signed an “Atlantic Yards” Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in February 2005, there was a blank check agreed to called “extraordinary infrastructure costs.” It appears that that blank check has started growing.

“The Mayor has told us over and over that New York City taxpayers would be forking over $100 million to Ratner, but before seeing if the project can even survive serious federal and state lawsuits, let alone begin construction, the Mayor has increased the Ratner handout to $205 million,” Goldstein concluded.

Posted by lumi at January 29, 2007 6:57 PM