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Queens Chronicle

Willet$ Pt. outrage

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Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2013 10:30 am

Dear Editor:

One would think The Mets ball club and the Related Companies would be more than gratified at receiving, for $1, the Willets Point property acquired by the City for tens of millions of dollars; a taxpayer subsidy of $99 million; and the right to construct a 1.4 million-square-foot shopping mall on the Citi Field parking lot, which is part of Flushing Meadows Corona Park without having to replace parkland and undergo a Uniform Land Use Review Procedure proceeding.

Predictably, not so.

In addition to all of the above, they now seek what they claim is a $43 million tax break from the city, but when added to the actual value of the Willets Point property of about $250 million; sewer construction cost of about $35 million; Van Wyck construction cost of $66 million; the total cost to the city for Willets Point will be about $400 million, a taxpayer subsidy that may well break all previous records.

At a time when city poverty and homeless levels are increasing, a demand by multibillionaires for a huge tax break, is outrageous.

If the Bloomberg Administration and the City Council agree to this raid on the City treasury, and if Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio and Queens Borough President-Elect Melinda Katz remain silent, it would be tantamount, in my opinion, to malfeasance in office.

Benjamin M. Haber
Flushing

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