by: Diane Benjamin
Yes, the Bloomington Center for Performing Arts is a beautiful building. Yes, the previous owners couldn’t afford the upkeep. Yes, the City of Bloomington decided to save it.
But do taxpayers know what it costs them? The financial statements are never issued, because there aren’t any. Budget statements are available, but they don’t show profit and loss unless the reader compiles the information. For fiscal year 2012, I did it for you.
As previously reported, a 1/4% Sales Tax was indefinitely levied for the BCPA. Without this tax the BCPA could not survive. Without obtaining an extra $250,000 from the City General fund in FY 2012, the BCPA wouldn’t have survived.
The income generated by events held at the BCPA of $816,094 does not even cover the employee costs of $834,318! Add to that Advertising of $264,135 and Artist fees of $279,075 – the BCPA is a big loser. Utilities haven’t even been included yet. The the final insult $749,816 paid for General Bond and Interest. That is almost the entire amount generated by events.
The taxpayers are left subsidizing a very expensive project. The media won’t report this, who do you think gets the advertising dollars? This is one reason the roads haven’t been kept up. Most of the City Council wants to give you gifts instead of doing required activities.
Do you ever attend events at the BCPA? Should projects be funded by taxpayers who never benefit? At least now you are informed about how some of your sales tax money is used.
If the City falls for owning a Community Center at your expense, it could be the same kind of project you pay for and never use.
Don’t forget the economic impact, however that is calculated. Projects are always justified by how much money will be brought in to the community. If you see some of that money, let me know. The City of Bloomington isn’t exactly overflowing with economic activity dollars.
This information was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act: