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WHO WILL PAY?

Until public officials, businesses and others determine what will be built in lower Manhattan, the cost of rebuilding remains unknown. But estimates for the cost of cleaning up and rebuilding downtown have ranged as high as $60 billion.

The federal government and insurance companies will pay tens of billions of this.

The federal money falls into two categories - grants to the families of the victims, and aid to the city and its businesses.

Some $7 billion will go directly to families of victims of September 11. This is an average of $1.85 million per family, many but not all of whom live in the New York City area.

Shortly after the disaster, President George W. Bush pledged $20 billion in aid for New York City in general. Until last week, according to Ronnie Lowenstein, director of the Independent Budget Office, Washington officially had approved only $11.6 billion, some three-quarters of which would go for cleaning up, security, and antiterrorism measures, with the balance for rebuilding.

City officials worried that Bush might try to back out of providing the full $20 billion that he promised, with his pledge vulnerable to opposition in Congress, the financial demands of the war in Afghanistan and the slumping economy. Indeed, budget director Mitchell E. Daniels Jr. fueled these fears when he said the $7 billion going to families of victims of the trade center attacks would count as part of that $20 billion. And he said that local politicians had "treated this as a little money-grubbing game."

The statement backfired. "When Mitch Daniels shot his mouth off and called us money- grubbers, he really forced the issue and forced the administration to really produce," Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, a Democrat from Manhattan, told the Times, which added that the president's image and the Republican governor's chances for re-election became at stake. On March 8, President Bush invited top New York City officials to the White House and promised that he would provide the city with the full $20 billion he had promised, and $1.5 billion on top of that, and that this $21.5 billion was to be in addition to the amount the families of the victims were getting. Of the $10.5 billion he detailed last week, $5.5 billion of it, he said, would be in direct aid, more than half of which would be funneled through the Federal Emergency Management Agency to pay for cleanup.

Another $5 billion, the so-called Liberty Zone program to encourage businesses to remain in Lower Manhattan, will go to companies in the form of tax credits and other incentives. Some Democrats objected to such a large portion of the package being in the form of tax credits, but most New York officials applauded the president's action.

Congress must still approve the $10.5 billion. The House has already passed the tax incentives as part of a larger economic stimulus package.

Private insurance companies will pay out the largest Amount of money. Estimates vary but the latest report by the New York City Partnership says that insurable losses (including property and life) from September 11 could go as high as $52 billion, though many will not be paid for years - if ever. An insurance company group estimated last year insurance companies will probably pay out some $30 billion.

Developer Silverstein will get billions of that but the question of how many billions could be tied up in court for years. Silverstein argues that the trade center attack was actually two separate incidents because two different planes were involved. The insurers argue that a single attack created the devastation. What seems like an arcane argument has become a high stakes legal battle because the insurance policies set a cap on how much a person can collect for any single incident; Silverstein gets about $3.6 billion if it was one attack and $7.2 billion if it was two.

But as huge as the sums of money involved are, they will not make the city whole for all the damages, some of which (such as some job losses and business shortfalls) will not be included in "rebuilding." The New York City Partnership has estimated that, after the payment of insurance claims and the federal aid, the New York City economy could still find itself $16 billion short as both a direct and indirect result of the terrorist attack.

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