From October 30 2007, here's the Democrats pres release on their oppositon to the BRT tax deferral.
Prominent Danbury Democrats are calling for the repeal of the seven-year tax assessment deferral for the BRT property at 30 Crosby Street. Helena Abrantes, Democratic Candidate for Mayor, said, "Mark Boughton and the Republican controlled Common Council have ignored the opposition of this tax giveaway and the Ad Hoc committee appointed to consider repeal has been delaying any resolution of this issue." Abrantes stated, "I have the signatures of hundreds of Danbury Taxpayers who demand an answer from their elected officials and want a decision from the Republican controlled Ad Hoc Committee so the entire Council can move forward with the repeal."
"This is the FIRST time in the City's history that a tax deferral was offered for any residential development. There is no benefit to the City or its residents that would justify such a windfall to a single corporate real estate condominium developer, especially recognizing BRT went back on its word regarding the marketing of these apartments on Crosby Street," Abrantes concluded.
Tom Saadi, Democratic Council Leader, who opposed these condo tax abatements from the beginning, said, "We are demanding repeal, especially in light of the developer's 'bait and switch' change in use." BRT originally attempted to justify the tax abatement for its Crosby Street project by claiming it would be bring young professionals to downtown and have an overall positive effect on economic development and revenue for the city.
However, this is an unprecedented use of tax deferrals. In contrast, tax deferrals for the recruitment, retention and/or expansion of Cendant Mobility/Cartus, GE Capital, Belimo and MannKind Pharma provide quality jobs and produce a significant economic benefit for the City of Danbury.
Councilwoman Lynn Taborsak stated, "There are no jobs created, no additional businesses started and no benefit that warrants a multi-million dollar giveaway of both tax dollars and reduced hookup fees for sewer and water. Homeowners in my neighborhood on Jackson Drive, Woodbury Drive and Hawley Road had to pay full-freight for their water and sewer hookups. Why couldn't they get a sweetheart deal like BRT?"
Councilman Ben Chianese said, "The original plan for this project was thrown out the window. Now this project has no resemblance to the plan that was approved by the previous Common Council. As a city, we cannot afford these tax giveaways for residential developers. As Democratic officeholders and candidates, we will demand that the Ad Hoc Committee meet to resolve this issue and we will push for repeal."
Here's the video from the press conference.