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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What worked for the Yankees won't work for Paulson

The questionable tax-exempt financing scheme that the Wall Street boys put together for Yankee Stadium in New York won't be available for the Paulson duelling white elephant stadiums in Portland:

While the IRS signed off on the deal, it has subsequently approved a regulation prohibiting such shell games in the future. The regulation applies only to bonds sold on or after October 24, 2008, leaving previously issued bonds for the Yankees project and even newly issued bonds to pay for cost overruns in the clear. (However, the project's alleged use of inflated assessments remains the subject of public debate and congressional hearings.) Going forward, local governments will still be able to use tax-free status for private projects, but only if public benefit is convincingly demonstrated by meeting a more rigorous standard.
When the other users of today's PGE Park are kicked out so that the Timbers get exclusive use of that facility, the public benefit is going to be awfully hard to demonstrate.

Comments (8)

I can't make up my mind if I should try and follow the details now or just read about them in the indictments later.

I would like to say...you know that money we can borrow with those kooky bonds where we don't have to pay back anything at all for many years? I say do it.
Like Butch Cassidy said when Sundance admitted he couldn't swim: "Hell, the fall will probably kill you."

The odds that we'll make it another 10 or so years are not worth worrying about. And anybody dumb enough to buy bonds like that won't be around either.

But please make the stadiums convertible to tent-city homeless shelters so at least we can get something useful from this deal.

Other than the Beavers being moved into their own stadium I am curious about what other users will be kicked out?

High school football, PSU football... come on, pay attention.

PSU and high school football will not be kicked out of PGE Park.

Growing up, I played premier level soccer year round. PGE Park became our practice facility during the wet winters. I believe this is still going on today. It would be unfortunate if this public use were to change.

"PSU and high school football will not be kicked out of PGE Park."

Are you saying that American football will be played on the futbol field after PGE Park is renovated?

American football will indeed by played on the field after the PGE Park renovations. I can assure you that Portland State was involved in the discussions and that they support the project. They'll end up with seats to sell on the west stands, box seats for donor types, and improved locker rooms. Portland Public Schools will also continue to use the facility as will youth soccer teams. The conflict between the football and soccer seasons will be minimal.

Thanks. I hope the city is getting something in writing.

Meanwhile, another MLS team, another soccer-specific stadium proposal, and calls for the removal of city council members who voted for it.


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