Following the approval of the America's Cup deal, Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi pledged to follow up with budget reports that would analyze whether the mayor's office has made any tweaks to the deal that would cost taxpayers extra money. On Tuesday, Mirkarimi asked the budget analyst to start the first report, which will be done by late February.
The Board of Supervisors unanimously signed off on the America's Cup deal in December, giving the mayor some wiggle room to negotiate changes to the final deal with Larry Ellison and the Cup organizers as long as it wouldn't end up costing the city extra money.
At the time, the mayor's office had indicated it would probably make changes to tax increment financing, which would essentially allow Ellison to recoup his investment costs. This could potentially cost the city millions of dollars in the long run.
While Ellison will pour some $55 million into improving Piers 30 and 32 and Seawall Lot 330, he will get the money back over time. It was a perk that would entice the Cup to come back to San Francisco after it had considered moving the race to Rhode Island.
But how much San Francisco will end up paying for this perk is exactly what Mirkarimi is trying to figure out. He has asked the budget analyst to look at the America's Cup deal as it was approved in December, and compare it line-by-line with the final deal to see if the mayor's office have made any changes that will cost San Francisco taxpayers more than they bargained for.
Mirkarimi says there is no reason to believe the massaged deal would be more costly. On the contrary, it could be a better deal for taxpayers.
We will soon find out.
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