« State Senator Seeks to Reform Use of Eminent Domain | Main | Andy Friedman and the Other Failures Sing "Freddy's Backroom" »

February 13, 2010

AY Report: IBO Budget Options, Press AWOL on Atlantic Yards

IBO offers Budget Options, including repeal of MSG tax exemption and taxing vacant land (another tactic to remove blight?)

The Independent Budget Office yesterday released a new edition of Budget Options for New York City, evaluating 63 options—nine of them new—that could help close the city's budget shortfall. None are presented as recommendations, just options.

Among the biggies are the restoration of the commuter tax and the introduction of bridge tolls.

Below are a few regarding land use policy. Only the first is a new option.

Keep in mind that vacant lots are blighted, according to the Empire State Development Corporation's blight studies, which support projects to remove that blight. Others might consider tax incentives to develop such lots a more subtle solution.

Tax changes being contemplated :

As the press obsesses about Paterson rumors, Atlantic Yards news is ignored

A reader asked me a few days back if I was going to weigh in and chastise the New York Times for not yet printing the much-rumored blockbuster article about Governor David Paterson.

I had nothing to add, I said; it's all a hall of mirrors. Indeed, an article published Tuesday night on the Observer's web site by John Koblin, The Fake-News Cycle (with graphic, below; click to enlarge), summed up how rumors went viral.

Subsequently, the Times, on its City Room blog, even printed an unbylined article headlined In Albany, a Rumor of a Rumor Catches Fire.

What they're missing

Meanwhile, neither the Times nor the Observer--nor any other newspaper, save the Daily News, which treated it almost as an aside--has reported that the Development Agreement for Atlantic Yards gives the developer 12 years to build Phase 1 and 25 years to build the whole project, with many opportunities for extensions and mild penalties for most delays.

And why is that important? Because the state and the developer pledge that the goal is to build the project in a decade--and issue still in court--so no Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement was necessary.

Posted by steve at February 13, 2010 8:59 AM