According to Wednesday’s New York Daily News, aides to Mayor Bloomberg put pressure on city tax assessors to inflate the value of land under the new Yankee Stadium to ensure the team qualified for $1 billion in tax-free bonds. The city’s chief tax assessor initially valued the land at $27 million but hours later increased the value to $204 million.
Bloomberg officials claim they did nothing improper and the Finance Commissioner told a Congressional subcommittee that his office was not pressured. A string of E-mails reviewed by the Daily News showed that the Yankees needed a high valuation because they planned to make $940 million in payments in lieu of taxes. The higher the assessment the more in tax-free bonds the team can get from the Internal Revenue Service.