Mayor DeBlasio wants to see Brooklyn as the location of the next Democratic Convention, but the move involves a tax break to developer Bruce Ratner that could cut into tax reevnues. Bruce Ratner is the developer of the Barclay’s Center, the proposed venue for the convention, as reported by the Daily News. He is trying to get $90 million in tax-free bonds for refinancing of an already subsidized property. He has requested the funding from an agency that is under the control of the Mayor.
Ratner and Maryanne Gilmartin, the CEO of his Forest City Ratner are both members of the committee formed by Mayor DeBlasio to get the Democratic convention to Brooklyn. Ratner has been a huge fundraiser for DeBlasio’s campaigns. They deny that politics are at play and emphasize the eligibility requirements for projects financed by BuildNYC. The proposal for the tax breaks are going before the Build NYC Resource Corp and will allow Ratner to refinance properties neighboring the Barclay’s Center. Ratner has already gotten tax breaks and loans and is applying for another one, because the letter of credit for his last subsidized loan is going to expire soon. Nine of the 15 members of BuildNYC were appointed by the Mayor.