Friday, June 29, 2007

Yassky and James ask Spitzer and Bloomberg to withhold aid

Council Members David Yassky and Letitia James, in a letter to Governor Eliot Spitzer and Mayor Mike Bloomberg, have asked the state and city to withhold previously pledged direct subsidies for the Atlantic Yards project, citing the "Atlantic Yards carve-out" in the state's revision of the 421-a tax break.

They write:
The most egregious aspect of the carve-out is the amount it will cost taxpayers. New York City has already approved $205 million for the project, and the State has pledged $100 million. The rewrite of the 421a legislation will cost taxpayers at least an additional $100 million and could reach $170 million in forfeited tax revenue.

Because of the size of the 421a tax break for Atlantic Yards, we ask that the money previously set aside for land acquisition aid--$100 million from the City and $100 million from the State—be withheld. This $200 million should not have been allocated in the first place—there is no justification for the government to subsidize a developer’s bottom line—and now, with this latest development, any distribution of this money is inexcusable.


Note that city officials told the Times that the tax break could be worth $300 million.

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