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September 13, 2008

As busy week approaches, Yankees' deal gets more scrutiny; will AY arena be included?

Atlantic Yards Report

Next week is going to be very interesting. On Wednesday will be the State Senate's eminent domain public hearing and the oral argument in the appeal of a judge's dismissal of the lawsuit challenging the Atlantic Yards environmental impact statement. On Thursday, a Congressional subcommittee will look into whether city officials "gamed" valuations of Yankee Stadium to ensure that the assessment was enough to fit with bond payments used for PILOTs (payment in lieu of taxes).

And in a column yesterday headlined Yanks land deal ain't fair ball, Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez revealed that Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, who on July 2 held a hearing on the Yankees deal, will next week release an "interim report" on the Yankees probe.

Surely Brodsky will do so before the Congressional hearing called by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH).

The PILOTs problem

The Yankees deal is understandably the focus, given that, as Gonzalez wrote, in January 2007, the city assessed land under the new Yankee Stadium at ten times the market value of its neighbors--an assessment justified, city officials said, by comparing it to other stadiums around the country.

The PILOTs can't exceed the value of foregone property taxes, hence the need for a high valuation. The same situation applies to the Atlantic Yards arena.

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Posted by amy at September 13, 2008 10:07 AM