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September 13, 2008

Ratner Says He Can Do Taxable Bond, So Why Not?

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn asks more questions in the wake of Tuesday's New York Times article and the desired $800 million tax-exempt arena bond:

There is a very enlightening comment from Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco:
...that financing plan for the arena, known as Barclays Center, is dependent on a favorable ruling by the Treasury Department in the coming weeks that would allow Mr. Ratner to use tax-exempt bonds and a final victory over court challenges. If he is barred from using tax-exempt bonds, his costs will increase substantially for what would already be the most expensive arena in the world.
...
Joseph DePlasco, a spokesman for Bruce Ratner, said his company had drawn up documents for a tax-exempt bond offering that would enable them to move quickly after the Treasury Department issued its ruling. But, he said, Forest City and Goldman Sachs were also confident that they could obtain taxable financing, if needed. (Emphasis added)

We've asked this before, and we'll ask again: If Forest City Ratner admits it can build its arena with taxable bonds and can obtain taxable bonds, then why, exactly, are they pursing the triple-tax free bond? The answer is, of course, that the developer will take advantage of every government tax break or handout even as they admit they don't need to. This is because their project is about making a super profit rather than the public good, despite the PR campaign that tries to tell you otherwise.

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Posted by amy at September 13, 2008 9:52 AM