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Woody interested in buying MSG/ KNICKS/RANGERS


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Jets, others eye bids for MSG and teams

Cablevision board meets today

By Anne Michaud & Aaron Elstein

Published on March 07, 2005

With the sale of Cablevision Systems Corp. increasingly likely, wealthy New Yorkers, including New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, are considering bids for the company's sports assets--Madison Square Garden, the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers.

These assets are the crown jewels of a family-run business that is unraveling in full public view. At a meeting this afternoon, the Cablevision board is expected to decide the fate of the cable and entertainment company and its chief executive, James Dolan, who is locked in a bitter feud with his father, Cablevision founder Charles Dolan. The board could decide to put the company up for sale, many analysts believe.

Cablevision has never been the model of a happy family. In addition to its internecine battles, the Dolan-dominated company has aggravated shareholders for years with its poorly performing stock and quixotic decisions.

Last week, Charles Dolan sacked three board members and brought in four of his friends as part of his effort to keep alive a satellite broadcasting venture that has cost the company millions. Cablevision is also spending millions of dollars to fight Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed football stadium on the West Side.

If Cablevision breaks apart, the younger Mr. Dolan is said to want to retain control of the two sports teams and the rest of the Garden's assets, including Radio City Music Hall. But analysts are speculating that the son could be forced out entirely. Also, it seems likely that the board would come under enormous pressure to maximize shareholder return by seeking bids to top any offer from Mr. Dolan.

The Jets' Mr. Johnson is looking at making an offer for the teams, say several sources close to the football organization. One sports industry executive notes that the teams could play in an arena inside the new stadium.

The Jets owner, who is an heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune, also has a strong interest in forcing James Dolan out of the New York sports scene. Mr. Dolan is the prime mover behind Cablevision's multimillion-dollar effort to thwart the West Side stadium, which would be built primarily by the Jets and could be used for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

Worth at least $2 billion

Telecommunications honcho Leo Hindery also says he would be interested in bidding for Cablevision's teams. He is managing partner of a new private investment firm called InterMedia Partners. He believes there would be many other contenders as well.

"Anyone who has an interest in content, which we do, is going to take a look at these assets," says the former chief executive of the YES Network.

The price would be steep. Cablevision and a partner bought the sports assets and the MSG cable network from Viacom in 1995 for $1 billion. Forbes magazine estimates that the Knicks are worth $494 million, second in the NBA behind the Lakers, which it says are worth $510 million. The Rangers are worth $282 million, the most valuable franchise in the NHL. However, teams are routinely sold for more than Forbes' estimates.

Robert Tilliss, chief executive of investment banking firm Inner Circle Sports, estimates that the MSG assets are now worth $2 billion. Still, he doubts that Cablevision would be interested in parting with the teams. "They are Jimmy Dolan's pet assets," Mr. Tilliss says.

Cable, satellite clash

Mr. Hindery believes a company sale is also inevitable, as the elder Mr. Dolan seeks to keep alive his plan for a satellite television business. The satellite plan is simply incompatible with a cable TV company, Mr. Hindery says.

The father-son blowup, which on one afternoon resulted in dueling press releases, is Shakespearean in nature, he says. "It's an absolutely fascinating meltdown of a family and its supervotes," Mr. Hindery says, referring to the Dolans' 75% controlling interest.

One longtime investor says he would expect Cablevision's 3 million-subscriber-strong cable TV business to be sold in two parts. He reckons that Time Warner would covet Cablevision's Long Island and Westchester territories, while Philadelphia-based Comcast would set its sights on the New Jersey unit.

As for the Madison Square Garden part of the business, which generated 16% of Cablevision's revenues last year, the investor says: "It would certainly be better for the fans, not to mention investors, if Cablevision sold the teams. Lord knows, the Rangers and Knicks haven't had many good seasons on Cablevision's watch."

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What bothers me over that article in Barrons is the fact that if he has the money ($2 Billion) to purchase MSG & Both Teams - Why didn't he just put up all of the money for the new stadium in Manhattan?

#-oIt Boggles the Mind! #-o

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What bothers me over that article in Barrons is the fact that if he has the money ($2 Billion) to purchase MSG & Both Teams - Why didn't he just put up all of the money for the new stadium in Manhattan?

#-oIt Boggles the Mind! #-o

Well because no one really has 2 Billion in cash to buy something. They have so much in cash and so much in assets that they will use to back a loan from investors, banks or both.

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Well because no one really has 2 Billion in cash to buy something. They have so much in cash and so much in assets that they will use to back a loan from investors, banks or both.

And that's my point. with that same senario, he could have paid straight up for the stadium & no one, myself included would have blinked. Instead he's trying to milk the 5 boroughs & the state for over $1 billion in both the cap & cover plus the PILOT program.

And still go after MSG, THE KNICKS & THE RANGERS?!!

I repeat - #-oTHIS BOGGLES THE MIND! #-o

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Besides the fact that Woody's $800 million is buying the stadium and his request was to have the city and state pay for the rest you also get have the problem of risk vs payoff. Idk how much cash he would actually be putting into buying this team but lets for arguments sake say it is another $800 million. Woody doesn't have $1.6 Billion sitting in the kitchen of his house or even in a bank account. It is in investments that most likely average a decent return. The company I work for invests thier money in $100,000 lots at around 6-8% but they get that rate because they keep a minimum 1 million dollar balance. Anyway, back to the point at hand. In order to sell these invetments, get cash and invest it in a stadium or team you need to do a risk analysis. For example $800 million is for the stadium and I believe that would be owned by the Jets and if everything fell apart the Jets could sell it and Woody can recoup his money most likely. Although Commercial real estate is a more risky business than residential for the simple fact that it is not a "need". Now the problem with paying for the extension of the 7 train and the clearing of the rail yards is that Woddy wouldn't have control over those areas. You can't have a private owner of public train system. The clearing of the rail yards needs to be done anyway and the city will certainly recoup those funds and even make money through selling bonds. If the economy slid and Woody was on his back he would never recoup that investment. I think you get my point now. He would be taking money he is currently reaping a profit from and investing it in something that not only would he never make money on but could lose a ton.

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Besides the fact that Woody's $800 million is buying the stadium and his request was to have the city and state pay for the rest you also get have the problem of risk vs payoff. Idk how much cash he would actually be putting into buying this team but lets for arguments sake say it is another $800 million. Woody doesn't have $1.6 Billion sitting in the kitchen of his house or even in a bank account. It is in investments that most likely average a decent return. The company I work for invests thier money in $100,000 lots at around 6-8% but they get that rate because they keep a minimum 1 million dollar balance. Anyway, back to the point at hand. In order to sell these invetments, get cash and invest it in a stadium or team you need to do a risk analysis. For example $800 million is for the stadium and I believe that would be owned by the Jets and if everything fell apart the Jets could sell it and Woody can recoup his money most likely. Although Commercial real estate is a more risky business than residential for the simple fact that it is not a "need". Now the problem with paying for the extension of the 7 train and the clearing of the rail yards is that Woddy wouldn't have control over those areas. You can't have a private owner of public train system. The clearing of the rail yards needs to be done anyway and the city will certainly recoup those funds and even make money through selling bonds. If the economy slid and Woody was on his back he would never recoup that investment. I think you get my point now. He would be taking money he is currently reaping a profit from and investing it in something that not only would he never make money on but could lose a ton.

I guess you don't know about the fact that the City is supposed to allocate $400 Million in a TAX FREE 30-year bond called the PILOT PROGRAM.

He's only really investing $50 Million into the stadium - When you take out the $150 Million NFL loan & the 2 bank loans for $100 Million each.

I still have to stand on the point that most of the money MUST be coming from someone else, if there actually is going to be a bid for the teams.

And that again questions the move.

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I can't express this enough--The more misery that Dolan encounters, the happier I am. BEAUTIFUL!

Isiah is probably packing his bags as we speak.

My only problem is that should they sell, I'm about to be screwed by my new cable company "COMCAST"! :cry:

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I guess you don't know about the fact that the City is supposed to allocate $400 Million in a TAX FREE 30-year bond called the PILOT PROGRAM.

He's only really investing $50 Million into the stadium - When you take out the $150 Million NFL loan & the 2 bank loans for $100 Million each.

I still have to stand on the point that most of the money MUST be coming from someone else, if there actually is going to be a bid for the teams.

And that again questions the move.

Where do you get your figures from? I'm not being a wise ass. I hope the whole stadium thing crumbles but I just want to see where you got your figures from so I can better explain.

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Perfect example is the today's Daily News.

Council may get say on stadium

Holy Snikes - I was wrong - It's more like $600 million in PILOTS! :oops: Gee,I guess that's because of the cost overruns that the JETS were supposed to pay for! #-o

I don't see anywhere in that article where it states Woody is not paying the agreed upon $800 million. This has to do with how the city plans on paying the debt service on the 30 years bonds for the stadium. It is a shifting around of funds.

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Besides the fact that Woody's $800 million is buying the stadium and his request was to have the city and state pay for the rest you also get have the problem of risk vs payoff.

he's not, the approved financing plans, from goldman, sachs, jpmorgan/chase and bear stearns, call for woody to use PILOT financing. financing winds up being like like $50MM in equity from woody, $150MM from nfl, $400MM in PILOTs, balance to come from NFL overage, the league stated that it may be able to go asd high as double, and private loans from one or both of the banks, i think. i'm no accountant, but you can download the winning and losing financing packages (as PDFs) here.

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I don't see anywhere in that article where it states Woody is not paying the agreed upon $800 million. This has to do with how the city plans on paying the debt service on the 30 years bonds for the stadium. It is a shifting around of funds.

It's the PILOT's themselves. It's a LOAN that the Jets are getting as a TAX FREE BOND to be paid off within 30 years tax free.

NYC EYES $650 Millon in PILOT BONDS to fund JETS

Though only $300 Million has been allocated for the stadium, look further down in the article. It explains the fact that the City will subsidise a portion of the JETS construction costs in a $400 million dollar Bond. Can you say "PILOTS."

The Cover for the High Line ($300 Million) is being financed by a new Hotel Tax that will reinburse the city for the cap.

The Stadium Cover ($300 Million) is to be paid out by the State through the BATTERY PARK CITY AUTHORITY FUND, should they finally get a UNANOMOUS vote in Albany.

Finaly, thank you Isred for completing exactly what I was trying to say...

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This is all very good info and I appreciate you posting it. Hopefully I will get a chance to look at tomorrow. I'm an accountant by trade so I find this stuff very interesting. This still brings me back to my original point that no one really has $800 million cash to spend on something. It is ussually tied up in assets and the financing is done by a group lead by the person who has the most net worth (or in this case a municipality). But like I said all this stuff is great and I have never read into the stadium project so it is all new to me.

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This is all very good info and I appreciate you posting it. Hopefully I will get a chance to look at tomorrow. I'm an accountant by trade so I find this stuff very interesting. This still brings me back to my original point that no one really has $800 million cash to spend on something. It is ussually tied up in assets and the financing is done by a group lead by the person who has the most net worth (or in this case a municipality). But like I said all this stuff is great and I have never read into the stadium project so it is all new to me.

i'd love to have your take, it seems like a no win (or at least a slim chance to win) for nyc, to me. it looks like the taxpayers have the triple burden of sweetening the initial investment (tax free bonds), guaranteeing the bonds, and paying off the bonds (via PILOTs). that's all of the risk, square on our shoulders. which might be ok, but we won't own it, nor collect non-football event revenue (other than taxes, after the loans have been paid off, in 31 years. thst'd been my biggest issue w/ the west side stadium... even IF all of this pays out in 31 years, we'll start earning money in a 31 year old stadium... assuming there's not already a new one, or one on the horizon.

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Ok here it is fellas. In order to discuss this subject we must first truely understand what a PILOT is. Something that the people reporting on this subject are truely not aware of or just not reporting fully. A PILOT obviously stands for Payment in lieu of taxes. The PILOT amount is determined by multiplying the Department of Revenue valuation of the stadium and or the land by the highest local property tax classification (regardless of actual land classification). Most PILOT land is forested, but the PILOT calculations use the same rate structure as commercial or industrial property. Legislative provisions state that the PILOT payment can NEVER be less than that of the previous year, even if the value of the land or tax rates decrease. The advantage of a PILOT for the city is two fold. First it protects the city incase the land was to ever lose value and second it gives the city a steady revenue stream it can depend on. It is sort of a loan but with a high fixed rate. Since the city is pumping a lot of money into this project and commercial real estate is down in the city combine with the fact that there is another huge project adding commercial space to the city at the old World Trade Center Site. This is a very smart move by the city. I think the writers of these articles are spreading a fear factor and false information. When the major issue is really just where they are getting the money to front the PILOTS from and not the problem with the actual PILOT program.

This was really the main issue that we were discussing. I did read up on the total financing of the site, 7 train and developement of the Javits and surrounding areas. There is a lot of risk involved in this project. However, without risk there is no reward. That is capitalism..............

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i have a few questions/statements re: your take; am i misinterpreting this stuff? if so, i'll be ecstatic - it's one of the main reasons i'm anti-west side stadium (as a manhattan resident and taxpayer)...

Ok here it is fellas. In order to discuss this subject we must first truely understand what a PILOT is. Something that the people reporting on this subject are truely not aware of or just not reporting fully. A PILOT obviously stands for Payment in lieu of taxes. The PILOT amount is determined by multiplying the Department of Revenue valuation of the stadium and or the land by the highest local property tax classification (regardless of actual land classification). Most PILOT land is forested, but the PILOT calculations use the same rate structure as commercial or industrial property. Legislative provisions state that the PILOT payment can NEVER be less than that of the previous year, even if the value of the land or tax rates decrease.

i think you're using one of the many definitions of PILOT that exists - however, none of the manhattan PILOTs are formula-based, from what i've read - they've all been negotiated, some with the intent of covering specific segments (usually education) of what would have gone into the general fund, and putting that money exactly there.

The advantage of a PILOT for the city is two fold. First it protects the city incase the land was to ever lose value and second it gives the city a steady revenue stream it can depend on. It is sort of a loan but with a high fixed rate. Since the city is pumping a lot of money into this project and commercial real estate is down in the city combine with the fact that there is another huge project adding commercial space to the city at the old World Trade Center Site. This is a very smart move by the city. I think the writers of these articles are spreading a fear factor and false information. When the major issue is really just where they are getting the money to front the PILOTS from and not the problem with the actual PILOT program.

that would be true, and make sense, if the payments were going into the general fund. those financing proposals, if i understood and remember them correctly (and from what i've read, i did), have the state setting up a phantom corp. for the purpose of issuing the bonds for the jets (the jets can't issue bonds through a PILOT themselves, since they're a private entity), then receiving the PILOT payments from the jets and using them to pay off the bonds. furthermore, it's a double-benefit, as the bonds that are being repaid by diverted tax money will be tax free from the outset, so we lose twice on the same dollar.

This was really the main issue that we were discussing. I did read up on the total financing of the site, 7 train and developement of the Javits and surrounding areas.
my issue isn't that they're issuing PILOTs for the city and/or state portion, it's with allowing the jets to pay back their bonds with PILOT payments to the state phantom corp set up to funnel the money - in my view, there are 2 problems with that setup:

1 - those PILOT payments belong in the general fund, not paying woody's debt - if money that would otherwise be in the general fund is used to pay back woody's debt, the taxpayers are, in effect, paying for woody's portion of the stadium as well.

2 - why on earth shouldn't the jets use their revenue, in part or in whole, to pay their debt?

i think this setup is a convolution of the intent of developer's PILOT programs... using the money to pay the debt (through the 'hudson yards state development corp', i think was the name) instead of using it for a steady revenue stream into the general fund was never the intent, i'm sure you'll agree. and, if i remember correctly, the goldman sachs rfp reply had the development on the rezoned (non-stadium) portion of the platform paying entirely into the phantom corp - and outlying areas paying into it incrementally.

There is a lot of risk involved in this project. However, without risk there is no reward. That is capitalism..............

of course, but it seems like the taxpayers bear 100% of the risk. where is the jets risk? what happens if they default on the PILOT payments? the wall st. risk is minimalized by the taxpayers as well (tax free bonds, taxpayers/general fund as guarantor)

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i think you're using one of the many definitions of PILOT that exists - however, none of the manhattan PILOTs are formula-based, from what i've read - they've all been negotiated, some with the intent of covering specific segments (usually education) of what would have gone into the general fund, and putting that money exactly there.

OK, I'm going to take this a segment at a time. I think it will be easier this way.

There must be some formula they are using to base this PILOT on. It is not fixed in the sense that there isn't a variance from year to year rather it has fixed increases in it that match the aggresiveness of the projected growth. I'm speculating on this but this is the conclusion I'm drawing based on the research I did on PILOTS and the articles I read that you provided. No where did I see the specific PILOT agreement. Just knowing how they work makes me confident in my speculation. I hope this answers this part of it. As far as where the revenue goes I don't see where the problem is wit the revenue going into the general fund.

PS if you could snag one of the actual PILOT agreements I would love to look it over and break it down.

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OK, I'm going to take this a segment at a time. I think it will be easier this way.

There must be some formula they are using to base this PILOT on. It is not fixed in the sense that there isn't a variance from year to year rather it has fixed increases in it that match the aggresiveness of the projected growth. I'm speculating on this but this is the conclusion I'm drawing based on the research I did on PILOTS and the articles I read that you provided. No where did I see the specific PILOT agreement. Just knowing how they work makes me confident in my speculation. I hope this answers this part of it. As far as where the revenue goes I don't see where the problem is wit the revenue going into the general fund.

PS if you could snag one of the actual PILOT agreements I would love to look it over and break it down.

i don't have access to any of that, just what i can get on the web - the rfp replires had some info on it, though, right? the money is not going into the general fund, though - if it was, it wouldn't seem criminal to me ;)

this is the simplest, most understandable summary of the financing behind the stadium that i've seen, it comes from "the original project plan", from the ESDC, november 2004 - it has changed somewhat, but i think the PILOT situation has remained the same:

Generally, it is expected that the Project Site will be leased, subleased and financed in accordance with the following structure:

    * MTA will lease the airspace above the Railyards to the LDC [i believe this has since been created, the hudson yards state development corp or something]. The LDC, through one or more issuances of tax exempt bonds (collectively the
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that would be true, and make sense, if the payments were going into the general fund. those financing proposals, if i understood and remember them correctly (and from what i've read, i did), have the state setting up a phantom corp. for the purpose of issuing the bonds for the jets (the jets can't issue bonds through a PILOT themselves, since they're a private entity), then receiving the PILOT payments from the jets and using them to pay off the bonds. furthermore, it's a double-benefit, as the bonds that are being repaid by diverted tax money will be tax free from the outset, so we lose twice on the same dollar.

You bring up a ton of issues here.

First the issue of starting a Phantom Corp. A Phantom Corp is being started to protect the City and States interests first and formost. This way if the project went belly up the Corporation can file for bankrupcy and it won't effect the city or states assets or revenue and only this projects. This is just protecting the city and state and is smart. Most if not all corporations do this when starting a new venture to protect thier main business.

I'm not sure what you mean in your statement regarding the "double benefit". A PILOT is not a Bond in itself but rather a loan. The revenue will be used to pay off the Bonds because of the shortfall that will happen in the begining years of this project. Some of the bonds that are for sale to the public will come due or could come due before revenue is generated to pay for them. This is why the city and state took out a 1 billion dollar line of credit. In order to protect for additional shortfalls beyond the potential projected shortfalls plus possibly cover city and state overages.

The Jets could issue bonds themselves but we won't get into why they don't. Lets just say it is better for the city to.

I think were the problem you are having is the fact that you think a PILOT is a deiversion of taxes of some sort. Maybe you don't feel that way but if you do you should get that thought out of your head. It is a loan where the Jets pay it back. This loan can not go down in terms of what the Jets pay but only go up.

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The Project Site is currently exempt from real estate taxes and, as a result of public ownership, the Platform and NYSCC will be tax exempt. The lease will require Jets Development to make payments in lieu of taxes (
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And you just put in perspective the main reason that the JETS want a Manhattan home - TAX EXEMPTION. Even if there were no PILOTS in place (They have to be - Construction expenses $$$$) The JETS Organization would demand that they get the SAME tax exemption that another Owner of Sports Teams is getting on the SAME ISLAND.

Therefore, even if the stadium becomes a loss, there will NEVER be a TAX revenue from the Team that becomes the TENNANT/LANDLORD of the project.

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my issue isn't that they're issuing PILOTs for the city and/or state portion, it's with allowing the jets to pay back their bonds with PILOT payments to the state phantom corp set up to funnel the money - in my view, there are 2 problems with that setup:

1 - those PILOT payments belong in the general fund, not paying woody's debt - if money that would otherwise be in the general fund is used to pay back woody's debt, the taxpayers are, in effect, paying for woody's portion of the stadium as well.

The way I read it is that the money is not being used to payback Woody's debt but rather the projects debt. In the early years this project will lose money but the PILOT program will solidify or put a basement on loses.

2 - why on earth shouldn't the jets use their revenue, in part or in whole, to pay their debt?

The city is not putting any of its main assets on the line in this project and neither should the Jets. This goes back to the purpose of the corporation which is to protect the city from this project failing all together. If the Jets were to build a stadium in Queens using $800 million and went to the bank for a loan the bank would attach the Jets revenue as a form of paying the debt back. The city is doing the same thing but by attaching a PILOT. The PILOT will then turn around and secure the developement of the surrounding area from any financial colapse if it were to happen. The Jets could go to a bank and take out the loan but then the nightmare scenerio of the city developing the area and values plummiting that I described above could happen. Remember this is based on optimistic developement of the surrounding area too and not just a stadium.

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And you just put in perspective the main reason that the JETS want a Manhattan home - TAX EXEMPTION. Even if there were no PILOTS in place (They have to be - Construction expenses $$$$) The JETS Organization would demand that they get the SAME tax exemption that another Owner of Sports Teams is getting on the SAME ISLAND.

Therefore, even if the stadium becomes a loss, there will NEVER be a TAX revenue from the Team that becomes the TENNANT/LANDLORD of the project.

PILOTS are not tax exempt in terms of protecting the Jets from paying taxes. The are tax fixed and making the Jets pay a fixed tax which in the end is higher than the City/State would otherwise collect.

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PILOTS are not tax exempt in terms of protecting the Jets from paying taxes. The are tax fixed and making the Jets pay a fixed tax which in the end is higher than the City/State would otherwise collect.

Not True:

Pilots are replacements for TAXES. However, they can be used in lieu of Bonds as a loan with a Small interest accumulation added to the Pilot in order for revenue to be re-couped by the city that offers them.

My responce was in relation to if there were no PILOTS, the JETS would still get a TAX EXEMPTION, just like the DOLANS/MSG have in place right now.

Should they remain in NJ, The JETS would have to pay revenue taxes to NJ - Something that they do not want!

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Not True:

Pilots are replacements for TAXES. However, they can be used in lieu of Bonds as a loan with a Small interest accumulation added to the Pilot in order for revenue to be re-couped by the city that offers them.

My responce was in relation to if there were no PILOTS, the JETS would still get a TAX EXEMPTION, just like the DOLANS/MSG have in place right now.

Should they remain in NJ, The JETS would have to pay revenue taxes to NJ - Something that they do not want!

I don't think you can make the statement that these payment will have a small interest rate attached to it without seeing the agreement.

Again, I'm not sure the Jets would be tax exempt if they brought the cash to the table. Perhaps they would if they built the stadium all by themselves and there was no developement being done in the surrounding areas or extention of the 7 line. But this is where the city really makes out if the developement takes off.

As far as New Jersey goes you can't bleam woody for trying to get the best deal possible. If all goes as planned this deal can benefit everyone involved.

Again I want the Jets to stay in NJ or go to Queens I honestly do. But I think there is a biased in the media right now and they are falsly reporting things.........as ussual.

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rsherry -

your statement that "PILOTS are not tax exempt in terms of protecting the Jets from paying taxes. The are tax fixed and making the Jets pay a fixed tax which in the end is higher than the City/State would otherwise collect." ignores the fact that the money isn't going into the general fund, but to pay the jets bonds

i think some of your points are valid, and there clearly are some protections offered by the LDC scheme - but you can not convince me that it is not a diversion of tax money:

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a PILOT is protecting the city from this happening and makes sure that the city is not stuck with the bill.

the only question i have with that part, is "how is the city not paying the bill under the PILOT program?"

don't forget, the PILOT doesn't just cover property taxes, but all other taxes as well - ticket sales, concessions, etc. since that money definitely would have been in the general fund, and now it it being used to pay the jets bonds, how is the general fund (a/k/a nyc, a/k/a taxpayers) not paying the bill?

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the only question i have with that part, is "how is the city not paying the bill under the PILOT program?"

don't forget, the PILOT doesn't just cover property taxes, but all other taxes as well - ticket sales, concessions, etc. since that money definitely would have been in the general fund, and now it it being used to pay the jets bonds, how is the general fund (a/k/a nyc, a/k/a taxpayers) not paying the bill?

Again it is a trade off. The west side and all the projected developement around it stands to benefit from the construction of the stadium. The city may not benefit in concession revenue but they will benefit from tax revenue created in the surrounding area from the stadium being there. We really need to see the PILOT agreement before we can speculate on how much the city will benefit. It will be largely based on the payoff figures for the PILOT.

The last point on this is that the city set up a phantom corp in order to run all the financing through. In order to make investors more confident in the investment into the bonds that this corporation will distribute they need to attach a revenue stream to them. That way investers can feel more confident that the bottom won't fall out and they are left with nothing. The revenue from this whole project in the end will filter into the general fund but it first must be set up to pay debtors or no one will invest.

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