Statement: Subsidy Watchdog Raises Questions Concerning $1.65 billion in Liberty Bonds for Goldman Sachs
Subsidy Watchdog Raises Questions Concerning $1.65 billion in Liberty Bonds for Goldman Sachs
The Largest Single Allocation of 9/11 Resources
August 15, 2005, New York, NY. The Liberty Development Corporation (LDC) authorized $1.65 billion of financing in September 11, 2001 recovery funds, known as Liberty Bonds for Goldman Sachs to build its new headquarters in Lower Manhattan. As a subsidy watchdog organization that has tracked 9/11 resources (a list of Liberty Bond allocations are available at www.goodjobsny.org), Good Jobs New York is greatly disappointed by the Liberty Development Corporation’s decision to allocate these resources without adequate public comment or releasing the basic facts of the deal.
In September, 2004, the LDC proposed $1 billion in Liberty Bonds for Goldman Sach’s $2 billion headquarters building that was to be developed on Site 26 in Battery Park City, directly across the street from Ground Zero. Good Jobs New York testified (testimony available at www.goodjobsny.org) that this was a questionable use of limited resources, considering that the incentives were unlikely to be the deciding factor on the location and investment choices of Goldman Sachs, which reported pre-tax profits of $6.7 billion last year.
It is unconscionable that the Liberty Development Corporation would approve the largest allocation of Liberty Bonds to date without gathering additional input.
According to early reports, the new terms of the deal gives Goldman Sachs more than $650 million more than originally slated as well as city and state tax breaks.
Basic questions remain, such as:
- Was a cost benefit analysis done for the project? If so, when was it made public?
- Is there a requirement for job creation since Goldman Sachs already has employees in Lower Manhattan?
- Did the LDC have another public hearing on the additional $650 million Liberty Bonds and tax breaks? If so, where was the hearing notice posted?
- Was there a public notice for yesterday’s LDC board meeting? If so where?
- What are the details on the reported tax breaks included in the package?
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