July 17, 2013 / 6:46 PM / in 5 years

UPDATE 1-IRS investigates Yankee Stadium parking garage bonds

NEW YORK, July 17 (Reuters) - The U.S. Internal Revenue Service is investigating $237.6 million of tax-exempt bonds that were used by New York’s Yankee Stadium to finance the building of parking garages, according to a regulatory filing on Wednesday.

The Bronx Parking Development Company, which runs the car parks, defaulted on a $6.9 million payment on April 1. The last payment to bondholders was made in October 2012.

As fans use public transportation to avoid parking fees ranging from $25 to $48 per game, the use of the 9,300 parking spaces has been well below expectation. Fewer than half of the parking spots were used in April, according to a filing.

New York City’s comptroller blasted the project in an audit last year that found “revenues were based on questionable occupancy rates and inflated attendance figures and did not account for demand fluctuations that would result from price increases and competition.”

The IRS review is “to determine compliance with the Federal tax requirements,” the filing said. The Civic Facility Revenue Bonds were issued by New York’s Industrial Development Agency in 2007 on behalf of the Bronx Parking Development Company.

Bonds maturing in 2037 last traded at 44.19 cents on the dollar on July 2, according to Municipal Market Data, a unit of Thomson Reuters.

The IRS declined to comment. “Federal law prohibits the IRS from discussing specific tax payers or situations,” an IRS spokesman said.

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