Comments on: Column: Rocking Back on the Library Lot it's like being there Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:56:38 +0000 hourly 1 By: Vivienne Armentrout Vivienne Armentrout Thu, 13 Mar 2014 14:26:41 +0000 I believe that the decision to use the Build America Bonds came from the City Administration, not the DDA.

By: Jeff Hayner Jeff Hayner Thu, 13 Mar 2014 13:07:18 +0000 I took an hour or so last week and looked though a number of IRS / Treasury Department bulletins regarding the use of Build America Bonds. I did not locate all of the documents that were referred to in those I was viewing, which spelled out the details of what is considered acceptable use of these bonds. There are three types of BAB’s that could be issued, but in each case the thing that stood out was that these bonds were intended for use by municipalities who were struggling to cover the costs associated with issuing standard bonds; and that their issue was part of a larger recovery program designed to boost the economy in the worst parts of the country, areas that are in existing economic recovery zones and the like.

I think that we have our DDA stretching the definition of economic development to make it fit their needs. Does anybody actually believe that Ann Arbor is somehow economically challenged? It goes against the spirit of the Recovery Act to suggest that we (Ann Arbor) are a needy community. As the tax dollar giveaway to developers continues, (waiving requirements for on-site parking, FDD credits, transferring public parking spaces in aggregate from public use to private/tenant use) it seems almost mean-spirited, as if we are taking Federal dollars away from communities that actually need it. In more than one way the DDA has put Build America Bonds to questionable use on this already questionable project.

By: John Floyd John Floyd Thu, 13 Mar 2014 02:25:25 +0000 Dave,

Don’t worry, I was raised to always defer to my elders when they wanted to tell a story, no matter how many times they had told it.

It seems as if one determinate of the # of private spaces available might be whether the Federal bonds were issued for the entire project (streets cape improvements, foundation upgrades for 18 story buildings, etc.) or whether they were just issued for the parking deck construction.

I hope the day comes when we can finally stop telling the tax increment financing story. It’s getting a bit elderly, itself.

The idea that the city needs to protect itself against the possibility that the public might learn of the legal opinions it uses to shape public policy is certainly quaint.