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A.G. Spanos Cos., run by Alex Spanos and his Chargers-owning clan — in perennial search of a taxpayer-subsidized pro-football stadium here — is angling for a complicated 23-year tax break from the city of Albany, New York on a posh apartment complex, "The Alexander at Patroon Creek", that the company owns in the New York capital.


"No less than Lt. Gov. Bob Duffy makes his Albany home at the 2-year-old luxury complex off Washington Avenue, where the largest three-bedroom units rent for around $2,300 a month," reports TimesUnion.com.

"But despite the project's success, A.G. Spanos Cos., the California-based developer, is asking the city to take the 6.5-acre property off the tax rolls for the next 23 years, a deal that would result in an infusion of cash for the city, county and city school district but would come at the expense of millions of dollars in taxes on the back end of the deal."

Albany's development honcho Micheal Yevoli justified the move:

"We have to be adaptable here to make things happen ... It's diversifying our population. That doesn't mean we're ignoring or selling out the future."

"Spanos' request -- which Yevoli acknowledges is a 'big ask' -- is complicated by the fact that The Alexander already has a 10-year tax abatement requiring its owners to pay taxes on only the value of its land, not the full $30 million assessment," the paper reports.

Spanos VP Nick Faklis hailed the arrangement in a written statement reported by TimesUnion:

"The city, county and school district receive more than $3.7 million in additional revenue over the next eight years -- much sooner than the revenue would otherwise come in. And our company receives the certainty of a long-term commitment to do business in Albany."

Skeptics include Albany City Treasurer Kathy Sheehan, who told the paper:

"They already built it. Nothing new is going to happen to the city other than that we're going to get less in taxes over the term of this agreement. Even if this was a mistake that they made, that this well-funded mega-corporation made, who is in a better position to bear the burden of that mistake -- the residents of the city of Albany or the Spanos corporation?"

Here's the story, with some nice photos of the complex, in TimesUnion.com:


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Visduh July 2, 2011 @ 8:38 a.m.

After reviewing the link to the Albany paper, this is clearer. The posting didn't make it clear just what Spanos was giving up in order to get the extended tax holiday. He pays a little more now, and saves many, many millions later.

But you know something? I'm having a hard time keeping these News Ticker posts separate from the "Almost Factual News" posts of Mr. Mencken. The truth is often as strange as those entertaining but fictitious posts. Look at the headlines: "Local Philanthropist Attempts Catalina Channel Swim", "Solar Projects to Shine in Alpine" and "Hallelujah! NFL Admits Football has No Economic Impact." Can anything invented sound more weird than those headlines?


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