Tomorrow’s Votes

In the afternoon, you have the Public Authorities Control Board likely shooing in the Javits Center. The more up-in-the-air vote is in the morning, when Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff would like to see the M.T.A. approve the city’s offer of $500 million for development rights associated with the West Side rail yards. Officially, according to a spokeswoman, the M.T.A. will be discussing the 2007 budget. The rail yards bid is not on the agenda as of now.

Why is this so important? Because Doctoroff is trying to get the bonds out the door to bring the subway down 11th Avenue, but the city can’t issue the bonds until it tells buyers how it will pay them back. This is such a marvelously complex transaction that the M.T.A.’s dithering will likely cost the project another month–or even two, since the transit agency’s board does not usually meet in August.

In addition to purchasing the rail yard rights, the city has to get a special tax break approved for new development in Hudson Yards, and it was planning to hold a public hearing on the issue Aug. 3. But that may also be held up if the M.T.A. doesn’t act tomorrow.

James Parrott, deputy director and chief economist of the liberal Fiscal Policy Institute, notes in an e-mail to us:
“My sense is they don’t want to have the tax breaks out there too long before they can move everything forward in relatively short order. So, if the MTA board doesn’t vote on the deal tomorrow, they could simply postpone consideration of the tax breaks (and release of the details) for a month.”

-Matthew Schuerman