In January 2007, the city assessed land under the new Yankee Stadium at 10 times the market value of virtually all other land in the South Bronx neighborhood . . . Lawmakers in Washington and Albany are investigating whether city officials inflated the new stadium's land value to make it possible for the Yankees to pay back nearly $1 billion in tax-free bonds for the project . . .Does this surprise anyone?
. . . The Yankees deal calls for the team to begin paying back its original bonds once the new stadium opens in April through the use of something called Payments in Lieu of Taxes. IRS rules say such payments can't be higher than the official tax on the property that is being financed. In other words, the Yankees need the highest possible assessment to be able to make their huge debt payments.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Let Us All Not Register Our Shock At The Same Time
Baseball has a had a long and rich history of teams taking advantage of and, in some cases, screwing over cities in the context of stadium construction. In most cases, the local citizens suffer. Here's a new one: a team and a city conspiring to screw over not just local taxpayers, but everyone in the country: