LADY AT THE BAT: New Stadium Controversy: Another View

Friday, January 16, 2009

New Stadium Controversy: Another View

Yesterday I posted exerpts from a New York Post editorial slamming Assemblyman Richard Brodsky and defending the financing deal for the new Yankee Stadium. I hadn't realized that The New York Times weighed in as well. They have a different take. A few exerpts:

"Yankee officials like to say that they are the ones paying to build this stadium, not the city’s taxpayers. That is only partly true. The public has subsidized the project in many ways — providing generous tax-exempt financing and a variety of other assistance like rent abatements.

Meanwhile, the total $362 million price tag to the city has almost doubled since the project was announced in 2006. And, according to the Independent Budget Office, the price dwarfs the $138 million the city will provide for the Mets’ new stadium across town.

Some city contribution to costs for these stadiums makes sense. But the real question is how much New York gets in return on this very hearty investment.

The Yankees promise over 6,000 construction jobs. But once their new house is built, there could be as few as 22 full-time, year-round positions.

What makes this latest request feel like “icing on the cake,” as Assemblyman Richard Brodsky puts it, is that the rest of the city is staring at such hard times and a looming $1.5 billion budget deficit."

Plus, one more:

"If the Yankees can sign megamillion-dollar contracts (C. C. Sabathia just landed one for $161 million over seven years), they should be flush enough to contribute more toward their new stadium and to the parks for people living nearby."

So the real question here appears to be the taxes resulting from the deal and how many permanent jobs will result from the construction project. I don't understand enough about this thing to comment about the job issue. But the taxes are another story. Who's paying them? The Yankees aren't. Supporters of the deal vehemently insist that New Yorkers are not going to pay the taxes. Opponents of the deal scream and cry that the Yankees won't be paying the taxes, but as far as I can tell, they haven't actually stated that New Yorkers will be paying these taxes.

As for the parks mentioned in the last exerpt above, from what I've seen, the people living nearby won't have much to worry about.


No comments: