Why doesn’t the Coliseum pay property tax?

By:  Diane Benjamin

Yes the Coliseum is owned by the City of Bloomington, but that doesn’t make it legally exempt from property taxes.

Central Illinois Arena Management has exclusive management rights.  BMI Concessions is NOT a party to the original agreement between the City and CIAM.  Until I wrote about them, 2 other companies were being run out of the Coliseum:  Winning Edge Transportation and Bloomington Junior Blaze (https://blnnews.com/2013/12/11/coliseum-bleeding-bloomington-taxpayers/)

Including CIAM, that makes 4 companies profiting from a taxpayer owned asset.  Competitors pay property taxes, Coliseum businesses don’t, so they have an unfair advantage.

The income made by BMI Concessions is a secret.  Income from the other 2 companies is also a secret.

We do know from the audited Coliseum reports, CIAM took $1,389,856 for the last 5 years in commissions and fees.  https://blnnews.com/2015/03/10/more-coliseum-fraud-2/

During the same time period, the audited financial statement showed the following losses (without depreciation)  See above link.

4/30/14  <$782,945>

4/30/13  <$22,943>

4/30/12  <$160,330>

4/30/11  <$86,957>

4/30/10  <$263,084>

Total losses:  <$1,316,259>

Add at least another $900,000 a year in depreciation for the true losses incurred.

State law says that exempt property leased to a business is not exempt from property taxes.  The contract with CIAM calls them “managers”.  What is the difference between leasing and managing?  Both mean the occupant is running a business from the City asset.  CIAM ran 3 businesses not party to the original contract.  They continue to run BMI Concessions from the Coliseum.  Why is a company not part of the original contract exempt from paying property tax?

Since CIAM and BMI Concessions do not pay taxes, your taxes are higher.  Both aren’t funding schools, the library, roads, and all other spending your property taxes pay for.

CIAM has been managing for almost 9 years, the above is only for 5 years.  They are making a lot of money and paying no property taxes in return.

Every level of government thinks they need more money.  Here’s a no brainer.  (at least to taxpayers)





4 thoughts on “Why doesn’t the Coliseum pay property tax?

  1. As an Okie expat, how this is all going down is just bizzaro world to me. If the city owns the property then they should either be exempt or not from property tax as per county/state laws. If they have CIAM manage the property, there should be a contract between the city and CIAM. That contract should have a Service Level Agreement that must be met by CIAM in order to receive payment for management services. CIAM should not pay any property taxes, as they are not the property owner. However, CIAM should in no way benefit from the property other than compensation from the city for management services. Vendors at the site should also contract with the city with CIAM as the management representative. The vendors should pay a fee and also be bound by an SLA. ALL proceeds from events, and vendor contracts should go to the city NOT to CIAM. The city should in turn pay CIAM, and all other expenses to run the center. This includes property tax. This is how we do things in the real world, rather than here in the Democratic Peoples Republic of Ellinoy.


  2. As far as that new sign is concerned someone should check who they are buying the sign from. Is it a direct purchase or is there a middle man, (such as you guessed it, possibly CIAM management?) Rumor is that’s how the first sign got bought.


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