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Report: Atlantic Yards Arena Will Cost City More Than It Receives in Taxes

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Independent Budget Office says the Atlantic Yards arena will end up costing the city more than it will receive in tax revenues. WNYC's Matthew Schuerman reoprts.

REPORTER: The analysis by the Independent Budget Office shows the city will spend $40 million more than it will end up getting back. The state and the MTA, which owns much of the property, will come out about $30 million ahead, largely because they're contributing less cash to the project to begin with.

But when the IBO, a nonpartisan agency, calculates what it calls opportunity costs, the picture is universally grim. The state, city and the MTA will lose out on a potential $220 million more, largely because they are giving away land for free, selling it for less than they could get otherwise, or foregoing property taxes on the arena property.

The report probably comes too late to change the fate of the Atlantic Yards development: the state economic development agency is expected to approve a revised project plan next Thursday. For WNYC, I'm Matthew Schuerman.

Mayor Bloomberg says the IBO's calculations did not include all the new business the arena would generate.

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