To get the financing, the Yankees needed to pay off the debt with payments in lieu of property taxes, though the team has never paid property taxes. If the Yankees did pay property taxes, the IBO said, the amount would fall $29 million short of what the team needed to satisfy the debt. The city disagreed: The stadium would be valued at $1 billion, and the land underneath it was worth $200 million.
But a much lower number was offered when the city got that land appraised to satisfy a federal requirement to replace parkland with property of equal value. In a second set of appraisals obtained by NYC Park Advocates, the value of Macombs Dam Park was put at $21 million, just below the $25 million total of the replacement parcels.
[Update: Much more on the discrepancies from Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez, including this passage:
Why such wildly different values for the same property?
"Our assessors jacked up the numbers and the comparables for the Council to justify the stadium bonds," said a Finance Department official familiar with the project.]