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October 22, 2008

Bailout! Feds save Ratner millions with new ruling

The Brooklyn Paper
by Sarah Portlock

"Joe the Plumber" has been all the rage for the past week. Now, courtesy of the U.S. Treasury Department, we bring you "Bruce the Plunderer."


The Treasury Department has bailed out Bruce Ratner.

In a much-anticipated ruling issued late Monday, the federal agency exempted Ratner’s Atlantic Yards project from a ruling that bars the use tax-free bonds to finance stadium projects.

Atlantic Yards was apparently exempted because it is “substantially in progress” — a term defined as having received “preliminary approval of the government” and involved “significant expenditures” before Oct. 19, 2006; and having a finance plan in place that contemplated the use of tax-free bonds.

“It’s a slight of hand that allows the city to stick it to taxpayers on behalf of developers,” said Neil DeMause, author of “Field of Schemes,” which focuses on the massive public cost of stadium financing.


Posted by eric at October 22, 2008 1:11 PM