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June 22, 2007

It came from the Blogosphere...

blogosphere72.jpgWere's still looking for a blogger who thinks that it's a good idea to give a special bonus to Bruce Ratner, in a reform bill, that will not only reduce the benefit to the public, but also cost more to the low-income tenants.

We'll keep looking. Meanwhile, here's what they're saying:

The Gowanus Lounge, Atlantic Yards to Get Custom-Made Developer Tax Break?

We believe the 421-a program is a tax giveaway to the wealthy that should have been killed off and that the reforms, while worthwhile, are the equivalent of rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. That being said, it's fascinating to see an Atlantic Yards Exception actually being written into law.

City Room, A Special Break for Atlantic Yards
Extraordinary special reward bonus-exceptions for Ratner in a major housing subsidy-reform bill isn't newsy enough to make the Times, but reporter Nicholas Confessore posted an item on the paper's latest blog:

That allows the developer to get the tax abatement even on the four buildings that include no subsidized housing. The provision would also allow set the Atlantic Yards’ area median income level at 70 percent instead of 60, again averaged out over all the buildings. That allows the developer to maintain the existing distribution of subsidized housing in Atlantic Yards, which is skewed to a somewhat higher income range than buildings that traditionally qualify for the city’s program.

Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez, who runs the Housing Committee, said the developer, Forest City Ratner, had asked the Assembly to set the income requirement at 100 percent of area median income, and that the compromise they arrived at was 70.

NoLandGrab: Are we supposed to believe that Lopez, though spineless, isn't gutless?

The Politicker, Elsewhere: Bloomberg, Edwards, Spano
Yesterday, the Atlantic Yards Project special exemption made it into Politicker's daily political news roundup.

NoLandGrab: The joke in Ratnerville is "WWSD?" (What will Spitzer do?).

The Albany Project, Ratnerville Gets Sweet Tax Break in Bill To Eliminate Sweet Tax Breaks

here is a perfect illustration of... how we give sweet deals to those with enough money to buy a couple legislators to slip this stuff in. In an ironic twist, we are giving tax breaks to a billionaire real estate developer, and him alone, in a bill to eliminate tax breaks to billionaire real estate developers.

Nice work if you can get it...
As I and many others have been saying for quite some time now, everything wrong with New York City and New York State politics is represented in the Ratnerville project. Influence peddling, crony capitalism, back room deals, shady legislation, lack of any meaningful public participation, overt favoritism to monied interests - it's all there.

Posted by lumi at June 22, 2007 7:56 AM