BCEQ Letter to the IDA on Yankee Financing

January 28th, 2009 Posted in Yankee Stadium Redevelopment

This was handed in at the hearing:

The Bronx Council for Environmental Quality
PO Box 265, Bronx, NY 10464

January 15, 2009

Seth Pinsky, Chair
New York City Industrial Development Agency
110 William Street
New York, NY 10038

Dear Chair Pinsky:

The Bronx Council for Environmental Quality, (BCEQ) is a non-profit 501(c)3 membership organization located in NYC’s only mainland borough — The Bronx. We seek to establish — as an Inherent Human Right — a sound, forward-looking environmental policy to protect an aesthetic, unpolluted, environment with a natural and historic heritage.

On Wednesday, January 14, 2009 the BCEQ Board of Directors met and agreed to send the following comments for the IDA hearing to consider. We regret that not one of us can attend the hearing, but most of us work full time, and in these delicate economic times, know our priorities. Please accept our comments and let us know if you have any questions. Unemployment figures for the Bronx were 8.3% in November 2008.

• This project is taking parks. How can you rationalize the completion of the new Yankee Stadium — a massive construction job, while at the same time none of the promised replacement parks are usable?
• This project is taking tax revenues. In these delicate economic times, where all Americans and New Yorkers are tightening their budgets just to make ends meet, the City IDA is engaging in extravagant revenue losses through the issuance of large tax free bonds to an entity that is not hurting for money.
• This project encourages waste in energy. The new Stadium lights have been burning 24/7 for months – a wasteful energy use and a major source of light pollution in the community.
• The company flouts its richness – it is not hurting for funds. Recently, the Yankees found $400 million to purchase two players.
• The fact is that this entity is not paying taxes. These taxes could have been used to fund programs; instead as the Yankees blindly continue in the spending spree, we are facing cuts at every Bronx Cultural institution/organization, every school, every Senior Citizen Center Program.
• Finally, the Yankees are claiming they need millions of dollars to make up for construction delays due to litigation. As you can see from the attached article in the Law Journal, this is not true.

Please do not vote to give the Yankees more tax free bonds. Thank you for this opportunity to comment.


Karen Argenti
BCEQ Communications Chair

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