Uproar over the Yankees' wish for another $350 million in tax-free bonds from the city--the Yankees already have over $900 million in tax-free bonds, but needs the city to push the IRS to allow even more tax-free funding, has resulted in some great quotes:
- Regarding how sports teams like the Yankees, Mets, and Nets get hundreds of millions in tax-free financing from the state and city governments, Assemblyman Richard Brodsky said, "These decisions are being made in secret in these Soviet-style meetings and it is outrageous."
- Bettina Damiani, a project director for Good Jobs New York, asked the Sun, "Doesn't the mayor have better things to do than be asking Washington for money to help the Yankees?"
- Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, per Metro, said, "These sports teams are private companies that appear addicted to keeping their hands in the government cookie jar."
- Another from Brodsky: "What's at stake here is a much bigger issue than whether you like or dislike the Yankee Stadium deal. Stadiums soaking a lot of the tax-exempt financing, and we can't fund the capital plan of the MTA and we're short capital money on schools and hospitals."
The NY Times looks at how NYC's two baseball teams and the Nets have benefited from tax-free bonds and how the state and city are lobbying DC to make sure those projects do get benefits--for instance, the Yankees have received $900+ million in tax-free bonds, $200 million in subsidies, and new parking garages, parkland and more built by the city for $300+ million.
And the Village Voice's Neil deMause has a good explanation of the tax-free bond situation and what it means to the teams, the city & state, and IRS. deMause did co-write, Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money into Private Profit.