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About DDDB
Our coalition consists of 21 community organizations and there are 51 community organizations formally aligned in opposition to the Ratner plan.

DDDB is a volunteer-run organization. We have over 5,000 subscribers to our email newsletter, and 7,000 petition signers. Over 800 volunteers have registered with DDDB to form our various teams, task-forces and committees and we have over 150 block captains. We have a 20 person volunteer legal team of local lawyers supplementing our retained attorneys.

We are funded entirely by individual donations from the community at large and through various fundraising events we and supporters have organized.

We have the financial support of well over 3,500 individual donors.

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"Why should people get to see plans? This isn't a public project."
Bruce Ratner in Crain's Nov. 8, 2009

It's Auto-PILOT for Forest City Ratner

The Daily News's Juan Gonzalez takes a much needed look at the City's use of PILOTS (Payments in Lieu of Taxes). These PILOTS enable large corporations to avoid paying their property taxes. Of course PILOTS are a huge part of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project. These payments they'll make in lieu of property taxes, instead of going into city coffers for the common treasury, will go to paying off the construction bond debt for their Barclays Center arena and to the State of New York. One year to the day since the poiltical approval of Atlantic Yards by the Public Authorities Control Board and still nobody has any idea what the amount of Atlantic Yards PILOTs will be. Nobody.

Gonzalez highlights the Ratner PILOT history and plan for Atlantic Yards, placed alongside some of the the biggest corporation's in the city. Why might you not have heard much about this issue before? One reason, Gonzalez explains, is that Forest City Ratner's business partner and parent of the Paper of Record, the New York Times Company, "feeds at the same trough."

The Gonzalez column:
Deals that lead to lost property taxes

New York City lost more than $100 million in property taxes last year because of privately negotiated deals with some of the world's richest companies.

The companies - including behemoths like JPMorgan Chase, Pfizer and NBC - have paid a fraction of their normal property tax bill for years through these little-known deals, commonly called PILOTs (Payments in Lieu of Taxes).

An internal Bloomberg administration report obtained by the Daily News shows:
  • The giant American International Group paid nothing in PILOTs for fiscal 2007, saving $4.1 million on its annual property tax bill.
  • The American Stock Exchange, that symbol of the free market, paid a mere $1,070 in PILOTs - far less than a South Bronx homeowner would pay in taxes. The exchange's tax break from City Hall saved it nearly $1.5 million.
  • JPMorgan Chase paid just $1.9million in PILOTs, 20% of the $9.6 million in property taxes it normally would be assessed.
Most New Yorkers are aware of the outrageous $10 million property tax exemption Madison Square Garden has enjoyed for decades, courtesy of the state Legislature.

So why haven't we heard much about these other tax giveaways in, say, the liberal New York Times? Maybe because the newspaper of record is feeding at the same trough.

The Times paid $219,000 in PILOTs last year for its new printing plant in College Point, Queens, the report said. That's a paltry 13% of the $1.7 million assessed tax on the Times plant.

The undisputed king of PILOTs is real estate developer Bruce Ratner. His Forest City/Ratner firm paid the city $9.7 million last year for half a dozen commercial buildings the company owns in downtown Brooklyn. That sounds like a lot of money - until you realize it's only one-third of the company's actual $26.3 million property tax bill.

That doesn't even count PILOTs that have yet to kick in for Forest City's Atlantic Yards mega-project.

Forest City spokesman Loren Riegelhaupt defended the company's success at landing PILOT subsidies.

"A lot of those buildings in MetroTech were constructed when downtown Brooklyn was not what it was today," Riegelhaupt said. "Many businesses were fleeing to New Jersey in the 1990s, and we were willing to invest in that area when others wouldn't."
...
Yes, Ratner's folks should be proud of how great they are at feeding at the public trough. Forest City Ratner's defense of their use of PILOTs for Metrotech is that in the 1990s "downtown Brooklyn was not what it was today." Then what, exactly, is their defense for receiving PILOTS for their Atlantic Yards project near that Downtown Brooklyn which is what it is today -- a booming real estate market where many are willing to invest.
...It should come as no surprise that some of the city's powerhouse companies landed the juiciest deals. Just 15 companies enjoyed more than two-thirds of the total tax savings in fiscal 2007, the report shows.

Besides Forest City, AIG, Chase and The Times, top beneficiaries include Morgan Stanley, Bear Stearns, NBC, Pfizer, McGraw-Hill and the Hearst Corp. In NBC's case, the company has received three separate PILOT deals over the past 20 years from Koch, Giuliani and Bloomberg.

Full article



Posted: 12.20.07
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Eminent Domain Case
Goldstein et al v. ESDC
[All case files]

November 24, 2009
Court of Appeals
Ruling

[See ownership map]

EIS Lawsuit

DDDB et al v ESDC et al
Click for a summary of the lawsuit seeking to annul the review and approval the Atlantic Yards project.

Appeal briefs are here.

2/26/09
Appellate Divsion
Rules for ESDC
What would Atlantic Yards Look like?...
Photo Simulations
Before and After views from around the project footprint revealing the massive scale of the proposed luxury apartment and sports complex.

Click for
Screening Schedule
of
Isabel Hill's
"Atlantic Yards" documentary
Brooklyn Matters


Read a review
-----------------------
Atlantic Yards
would be
Instant
Gentrification
Click image to see why:


-No Land Grab.org

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