Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson, together with New York City Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark Peters, today announced that the owner of a security firm that contracted with the New York City School Construction Authority to provide security guards at school construction sites pleaded guilty in connection with stealing approximately $45,000 in purported wages and benefits and underreporting income on New York City tax filings. Still, it’s unclear how many; the 453 arena jobs would be subject to union rules and may be filled with current employees now in New Jersey. IBO’s estimate of new property tax revenue lost to the arena PILOT does not include a loss of property taxes for the MTA land that would be part of the arena building foot print. Whether or not the City Council’s actions cured that defect in City actions is unclear.
The city currently receives no tax payment from the MTA for the rail yard because the MTA, like other state entities, is exempt from local property tax. Indeed, the MTA has an incentive to make a deal that maintains the tax exemption in order to maximize the price it receives for the development rights. However, the City argued that as long as the PILOT payments were not in excess of the real property taxes otherwise owed by the Yankees, the tests were met and the IRS should approve the tax exemption for the bonds.
However, foregone property taxes for Madison Square Garden, which the Independent Budget Office considers more valuable property than the expected arena in Brooklyn, are only $12 million a year. The heart of the IRS policy is to stop manipulation of property taxes for the purpose of receiving tax exempt financing. That Stark had been involved with Roberta Hand, an assessor at the Finance Department.
The State Legislature, the City Council, and others concerned about the governance of public institutions, and the proliferation of public debt, need to address these complicated, formal and informal, executive driven, and secretive institutional arrangements. That Stark was involved with Dara Ottley-Brown, another Finance Department employee. In January 2004, Stark had promoted Ottley-Brown to the position of Assistant Commissioner of Real Property, a crucial post at Finance. That in the spring of 2005, Stark and Ottley-Brown had improperly interfered with the tax assessment of the Met-Life Building.
City employees should find it intriguing that their taxes help pay the salary of this company” lawyer. If you ever make it to NYC, or they happen to tour to your city… It’s well worth the ticket to see a part of history!!! The lobbyists are seeking a Parks Department permit so their client, EZ Festivals LLC, can operate the huge techno-music event at Randalls Island over Labor Day weekend. With more people working, more taxes are being paid rather than food stamps given out.