A key player in Mayor de Blasio's drive to lure the Democratic convention to Brooklyn is seeking $90 million in tax-free bonds to refinance one of his already-subsidized properties.
Bruce Ratner - who developed the Barclays Center where de Blasio hopes the convention would be held - requested the city-backed subsidy from a quasi-governmental agency controlled by the mayor.
If approved, the tax-break will cost the city general fund nearly $1 million in tax revenue and create not a single new job. A hearing is set for Thursday.
Ratner and Maryanne Gilmartin, CEO of his firm, Forest City Ratner, are both members of a committee of movers and shakers de Blasio formed two months ago to raise money for the Democratic convention bid.
Ratner and his associates have raised thousands of dollars for de Blasio's political campaigns in recent years. That includes $10,000 via a Ratner-sponsored 50th birthday party for de Blasio at the Waldorf in 2011. A top Ratner executive raised another $13,600 as a "bundler" for de Blasio in 2013, and Forest City Ratner lobbyists have raised thousands more.
Mayoral spokesman Marti Adams said the deal will be a wash for taxpayers because Ratner will pay a fee to handle the financing. Ratner officials put the fee at $963,000. The money goes to the quasi-governmental Economic Development Corp., not the city’s general fund.