Rock Hill Herald | February 25, 2015 | Business Wire

— A white paper published this morning by the newly launched Hedge Clippers coalition dissects the anatomy of New York City’s “ultra-luxury” condominium, One57. From outlining hefty contributions by One57 developers to Governor Cuomo’s campaign coffers, to the controversial 421a tax abatements received for purchasing the condos, to exclusive details on previously unnamed buyers and their caustic business practices, The Hedge Clippers report adds cannon fodder to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s reported Federal inquiry into One57, the 421a abatement and the alleged role played by Governor Cuomo.

New York homeowners — many whose property tax bills are double or triple those of One57 buyers —are shocked after learning about the 421a exemptions. “For the most part, most working families don’t know because they don’t want us to know. Our biggest problem is getting the truth out and battling misinformation and disinformation. Very few New Yorkers in the poor and middle class category don’t have time to read the tax laws,” said Amy Fleming of Vestal, NY. “For me, as a widow with no pension and social security as my basic income, it would mean my social security and other income would last longer and even though I live a very simple lifestyle I would be allowed to stay in my home and live simply for a longer period of time.”

“How does Governor Cuomo expect New Yorkers to trust their government when he’s accepting huge campaign contributions on the same day that his donors are receiving huge tax breaks?” said Karen Scharff, Executive Director of Citizen Action of New York. “The corrupt arrangement between politicians and their CEO campaign contributors won’t change until we create a public campaign funding system that lets candidates put small donors first.”

Some top lines from the One57 report include:

· Developers receiving the special tax exemption contributed $295,000 directly to Andrew Cuomo.

· One57 developers contributed $100,000 directly to Cuomo on the very day that the 421a exemptions were announced.

· Over the life of the 421a exemption, New York taxpayers will lose out on an estimated $35 million.

· What New York could do with this $35 million:

Pay the salaries of 458 public school teachers.
Fund a year of universal pre-K for 3,418 children.
Pay the salaries of 659 new school nurses.
Purchase 125,004 Chromebooks for New York public school students.
House 930 homeless families in for one year.

· The most comprehensive list of One57 buyers to date and expanded details into the corrupt business dealing of a selection of One57 buyers, including a buyer implicated in profiting from famine in the Congo and another whose company profits from the use of labor provided by individuals managed by the Department of Corrections.

Released this morning on the group’s website, http://hedgeclippers.org this is the second report of a weekly series of “HedgePapers” providing an intimate snapshot into the lives and misdeeds of New York’s billionaire politico-elite.

For more quotes of New York State residents or interviews please contact Andy Stepanian, andy@fitzgibbonmedia.com, 631.291.3010.

About The Hedge Clippers

The Hedge Clippers are working to expose the mechanisms hedge funds and billionaires use to influence government and politics in order to expand their wealth, influence and power. We’re exposing the collateral damage billionaire-driven politics inflicts on our communities, our climate, our economy and our democracy. We’re calling out the politicians that do the dirty work billionaires demand, and we’re calling on all Americans to stand up for a government and an economy that works for all of us, not just the wealthy and well-connected.

The project is supported by the Strong Economy for All Coalition, a coalition of labor unions and community groups working to fight income inequality and build shared prosperity and economic & social justice in New York and around the country.

Learn more at: http://hedgeclippers.org

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