Meanwhile, Yankees President Randy Levine told the lawmakers bluntly that the new stadium would have never been built, and the Yankees would have left the Bronx, without the financing.
The stadium is scheduled to open next April with a game against Kucinich's home-state Cleveland Indians.
Citing an e-mail obtained by the House Domestic Policy subcommittee he chairs, Kucinich suggested there was pressure on officials in the City's Department of Finance to revise the assessment upward.
In the e-mail, dated March 20, 2006, Seth Pinsky, president of the New York City Economic Development Corp., tells Josh Sirefman, an official in the mayor's office, that the finance agency was close to finishing a preliminary assessment, "and I'd like to understand what it is before it is released publicly to make sure it conforms to our assumptions (and, if it doesn't, to understand what the implications are)." He asked who in the agency should be contacted about it.
Pinsky testified that he was not trying to influence the assessment. He said he was just trying to find out when it would be produced, "so that we weren't blindsided by whatever the number turned out to be."
"Are you saying you needed a number or the number?" Kucinich asked, emphasizing the word "the."
"We needed a number," Pinsky said.
Pinsky called the stadium an important economic development tool for the South Bronx, a poor neighborhood.
The city's finance commissioner, Martha Stark, said the value of the land was changed because the original value was incorrect. She said it should have taken into account the value of the land with the stadium on it, not as vacant land.
Stark said the e-mail had no bearing on the assessment.
"There was no pressure on us," she said.
Another witness, New York State Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, an outspoken critic of the deal, told Kucinich he had a reason to be suspicious.
"The evidence that the assessment at Yankee Stadium was cooked is overwhelming," said Brodsky, a Democrat.