Back in September, the Newark Star-Ledger suggested that the financially troubled Atlantic Yards project really needed tax-exempt financing to get up to speed. Yesterday the project appeared to get it from an IRS ruling.
Or not. The Times believes that the ruling on Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOTs) will allow Bruce Ratner et alia to use tax-exempt bonds to fund Atlantic Yards. Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn disagrees, claiming that the ruling’s “projects substantially in progress” clause doesn’t apply to the slow-moving, court-contested boondoggle.
The Times spoke to Daniel Goldstein of DDDB, who “said it appeared to him that federal tax officials went out of their way to help the developer,” the paper writes, “which he said ‘makes no sense’ when the federal government is in the midst of a costly bailout of the banking industry.” Actually it does make sense: the bailout is an attempt by the powerful to restore a failed, obviously unsustainable confidence scheme to viability; this tax break (if it is a tax break), ditto.