Economic Activity? You Judge

by:  Diane Benjamin

The City of Bloomington recently declared the Coliseum has produced $98 MILLION dollars of Economic Activity.  The Coliseum opened in 2006, the first full year was 2007.  2007 Sales Tax receipts were LOWER than 2006 (see chart below).  Receipts increased when the tax to pay for the Coliseum was increased.  Keep in mind that payments on the debt is around $2,000,000 a year.

If all the Economic Activity was really taking place, it should show up in tax receipts.  All of the following are from Bloomington’s Financial Statements:  Statements for the FY ending 4/30/14 are not yet available.

Sales2 The population from 2005 to 2012 increased by 8564 people.  If you look at Sales Tax per person, in 2005 it was $357 (24,482,330 / 68,507) .  In 2012 it was $354 (27,307,557 / 77,071).   $3 decrease in Sales Tax collected per person.  Taking more money from citizens results in lower receipts because they have less money to spend!  The numbers only LOOK higher because the population increased.


Below are 2 more charts.  The first is Total Taxes collected.  It includes all taxes from all sources.  The second shows how the assessed value of property has increased.

Using the City’s own numbers, taxes per person increased since the Coliseum was built.  

Where is the City Tax Revenue from $98 Million in Economic Activity?

I reported before the $98 Million is a made up number based on the percentage of people they believe stay all night after attending events and a percentage they believe eat at local restaurants.  If their numbers were true, they would be reflected in tax receipts.  Tax paid per person actually increased.

If government was able to create Economic Activity, taxes per person would decrease.  The City’s numbers say you are paying more now than before the Coliseum (but then you already knew that).

I bet you can’t wait for all the Economic Activity a downtown hotel is going to generate!








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