Two New York legislators last week called for a hearing on the use of tax-exempt bonds for two baseball stadiums and a basketball arena in New York City.
Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, D-Westchester, chairman of the Legislature's Committee on Corporations and Authorities, and Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, D-Buffalo, chairman of the Local Governments Committee, have called on New York City Industrial Development Agency officials to testify about its "practices and procedures for issuance of public debt with respect to sports facilities." The two committees said they have been investigating the issuance of public debt "by state-created entities that operate in secret and without the control of elected officials."
The hearing will take place next week in New York City, though a final date has not been set.
Brodsky spokeswoman Kelly MacMillan-Akram said that the hearing was intended to gather information for possible legislation.
The IDA and the Empire State Development Corp. have been lobbying the Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Treasury to make an exception to proposed rules that would prevent the New York Yankees and New York Mets using additional bonds backed by payments in lieu of taxes to complete their new stadiums and would prevent the New York Nets basketball team from using PILOT bonds to build an arena.
The three sports franchises intend to use PILOTs for their projects that would be sold within the next eight months. Brodsky said last week the Yankees are seeking an additional $350 million of PILOTs for their stadium for which $942.6 million were sold in 2006.