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Yankees, Mets seek tax-exempt bonds to complete ballparks

The New York City teams will apply for $452 million in bonding from the city to complete Yankee Stadium and CIti FIeld, both slated to open in 2009.
The New York Yankees and the New York Mets say they’ll seek $452 million in tax-exempt bonds from the city of New York’s Economic Development Corp. to complete construction of Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, respectively.

The Yankees will request $259 million in tax-exempt bonds and $111 million in taxable bonds, while the Mets will request $188 million in tax-exempt bonds. The teams have already gone to this well: the Mets have received $612 million in tax-exempt bonds, while the Yankees have already received almost $1 billion in tax-exempt bonds.

This has caused controversy in New York political circles: though held as legal by the IRS, the issuance of tax-exempt bonds has been criticized as a taxpayer subsidy because the city is missing out on taxes normally paid on the bonds. The two teams are responsible for paying back the bonds.

A decision is expected next month after a mandatory hearing.

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