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Did NYC help inflate Yankees' deal?

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06:18 AM ET 12.17 | Mayor Bloomberg's aides secretly pressured city tax assessors to inflate the value of land under the new Yankee Stadium so the team could qualify for nearly $1 billion in tax-free bonds, city e-mails show. In March 2006, the city's chief tax assessor put the market value for the stadium site at $27 million, far lower than the Yankees wanted. A Finance Department official ordered him to redo the report. Within hours, he jacked up it up to $204 million. The bombshell e-mails raise a big question: Did city officials violate state law, which requires uniform valuation methods for all properties? "This is the smoking gun," said Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, who has spearheaded a state probe into the stadium deal. "The professionals did their job. The political appointees then ordered them to change the assessment - and they did." Bloomberg aides have told a state Assembly committee and a House of Representatives subcommittee they did nothing improper.

New York Daily News

Yankee Stadium, Chris McGrath/Getty Images Yankee Stadium, Chris McGrath/Getty Images

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