Bruce Ratner “doesn’t need” the massive public subsidy handed to him by the state Assembly last week, Mayor Bloomberg said on Friday — and called for Gov. Spitzer to block the legislation.
In slamming the Assembly handout — which the mayor estimated would cost taxpayers $300 million, not the $175 million originally estimated by government watchdogs — Bloomberg has joined the chorus of advocates, legislators and Atlantic Yards opponents condemning the amendment that would give special treatment to the mega-developer.
“[The bill is] going to hurt the very people that everybody talks about helping and gives some tax breaks to a developer that doesn’t need them and which we didn’t have to do,” Bloomberg said on his weekly WABC radio show on Friday morning.
The mayor added, “I can only hope that the Governor stands up and vetoes [the bill],” which is now awaiting approval from the Senate after passing in the state Assembly last week.
Bloomberg has been an outspoken supporter of the $4-billion residential, arena, office and retail complex. His criticism of the subsidy handout is the first time he has publicly opposed a proposed tax break for the powerful developer, a former city bureaucrat and a college buddy of former Gov. George Pataki.
The city estimates that the developer-specific bonus would cost the city $300 in property tax revenue — a projection nearly double the $175 million loss estimated last week by governmental watchdogs.