Will Wilson is a former GOVERNING correspondent.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
When the stories began leaking out about New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office pressuring the Yankees for a luxury suite in the new Yankee Stadium, the New York Times found one thing puzzling, "It is hard to determine the precise value of what the city gave the Yankees as part of the exchange."
How about a billion dollars in tax-exempt bonds? It seems city finance department officials put the squeeze on a city assessor to inflate the value of the land under the stadium from $27 million to $204 million. State Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, who is leading the probe into the stadium fiasco, describes the tidy division of labor, "The professionals did their job. The political appointees then ordered them to change the assessment -- and they did."
The Yankees moved $968 million in bonds in 2006. They are presently seeking another $260 million in tax-exempt bonds and $110 million in taxable bonds.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.