We’ve long known that the Bloomberg Administration bent over to deliver all manner of financial favors to the Yankees, but now the emails are out, and it’s pretty ugly:
Mayor Bloomberg’s aides secretly pressured city tax assessors to inflate the value of land under the new Yankee Stadium so the team could qualify for nearly $1 billion in tax-free bonds, city e-mails show.
In March 2006, the city’s chief tax assessor put the market value for the stadium site at $27 million, far lower than the Yankees wanted. A Finance Department official ordered him to redo the report. Within hours, he jacked up it up to $204 million . . .
. . . “This is the smoking gun,” said Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, who has spearheaded a state probe into the stadium deal. “The professionals did their job. The political appointees then ordered them to change the assessment – and they did.”
This is important, because the higher assessment allowed the Yankees to take advantage of a billion bucks in tax-exempt bonds that an honest assessment would not have.
New Yankee Stadium is built on a foundation of graft. The sad thing is, this fact will almost certainly not be mentioned by the announcers when the Bombers take the field for the first game in April because there will be too many fancy baubles on which to train the cameras.