Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, on a nearly seven-month campaign to battle the issuance of $430 million in additional tax-exempt bonds for the new Yankee Stadium, wants a hearing next week on the project, but the city is not eager to attend.
This morning, Mr. Brodsky sent out a press release announcing that he was holding a hearing on Wednesday on the stadium deal, a day before the city holds its public hearing for the bonds. He invited two representatives of the city, Seth Pinsky, the president of the Economic Development Corporation, and Derek Park, who is the vice-chair of the agency that approves the bonds.
"The City’s attempt to ram through this complicated project without disclosure of its implications is not acceptable as the Legislature considers what changes in State law it ought to be making," Mr. Brodsky said in a statement.
In a letter today, the Bloomberg administration fired back, rebuffing Mr. Brodsky by saying the officials did not have time to attend. In addition to the bond hearing on the following day, the mayor is scheduled to deliver his State of the City speech next Thursday, the day after Mr. Brodsky’s scheduled hearing.
Safe to assume Mr. Brodsky and the mayor have a less than cheery relationship. Earlier this week, the mayor responded to questions about charges from Mr. Brodsky by saying: “Assemblyman Brodsky is criticizing everything,” and, “I just don’t have enough time to answer every one of Brodsky’s complaints.”
A note on the tax-free bonds: The bonds do not represent direct subsidy or taxpayer money themselves. As tax-exempt bonds, investors generally save somewhere in the range of one-fifth of the cost of the bonds when they are tax-exempt, with the bulk of those savings coming out of federal tax rolls (the investors that buy the bonds don’t have to pay tax on their gains, and therefore can offer the bonds at a lower rate).
Full response in the city’s letter here, which also includes a lengthy set of other letters to the assemblyman.