Dumb and dumber: The MSG tax wars (Metro NY)

The New York city council debate over whether to continue Madison Square Garden’s $11-million-a-year exemption from property taxes – which was supposed to end in 1992, but somebody forgot to write that into the legislation – has not exactly covered either side in glory:

t was a strange scene even by City Council standards: representatives of Madison Square Garden testifying last week that they should get to keep their perpetual tax exemption because the city is throwing so much money at its other sports teams — more than $1.3 billion, by their count — that the Knicks and Rangers might as well share in the boodle.

Arguing that “all the other kids are getting one” isn’t exactly new for sports teams in search of public subsidies; Rudy Giuliani, after all, once asserted the Yankees needed a new, city-built stadium to let them compete with the (no guffawing) Baltimore Orioles… [read more]