Neil deMause has more details on yesterday’s Yankees-Mets hearing, including the explanation from the Parks Department’s Josh Laird that the reason the city’s contribution for the Yankees has increased was due to “overall inflation in construction costs.”
It would be one thing if the city was paying to build the new stadium itself: China’s construction frenzy has increased steel prices worldwide. But most of New York’s money was supposed to go toward replacing lost park land. Apparently, China’s boom has also led to a run on grass seed.
Also, the Independent Budget Office testimony explains why the Yanks are disguising rent payments as payments-in-lieu-of-taxes: because to do otherwise would disqualify them from obtaining tax-free bonds. Ironically, the only way to get tax-free bonds is if the money to repay them comes from taxpayers, not the private business that benefits from them.