Found in the Financial Statements

By:  Diane Benjamin

We used to get lots of interesting information in the City Manager’s monthly reports.  The City Manager quit doing them because the reports showed information the City didn’t want you to know – like monthly tax receipts and library traffic.

The financial statements the City just got around to releasing from almost a year ago have some interesting stats.  These are from 4/30/17, it will be another year before they release updated numbers because timely information isn’t important.

See PDF page 194-195:

These page are hard to read because the data spans two pages and the titles don’t.   I’m pulling out a few items, the first is the library.  Both visitors and circulation have dropped the last three years.  The Library Board is planning a major expansion anyway.  The only explanation is they want to turn the library into something other than its original purpose.  They need to explain why more space is needed when the numbers obviously say they don’t.

I thought the City was data driven now.  Maybe data driven means ignore the data they don’t like!

Now look at the Coliseum (Grossinger Motors Arena).  During 2016 less than half as many people attended events as did in 2009.  Average attendance per event was 772 in 2016.

The same trend exists with the Cultural District, it recovered from the slide slightly in 2016.  Do the math, each event in 2016 averaged 150 people:

Other items are noteworthy, print both pages so you can see them better.

One more item from PDF page 185.  The City took an additional $10,000,000+ out of the local economy through Sales Tax since 2014.  The structural deficit still exists because the City refuses to cut spending.

Does the City Council understand their actions are destroying Quality of Life by tax?  This proves Home Rule should be put to a referendum.  The only way to stop out-of-control government spending is to starve them of money.


7 thoughts on “Found in the Financial Statements

  1. Wow! Some real gems here, Diane. Great work! I share your disgust and strategy for starving the City Council of money to waste. Taxpayer money is a narcotic to the City of Bloomington, which has a full-blown addiction. They constantly need their fix so they don’t go through withdrawal (and face reality). Libraries have become liberal re-education camps with “community programs” on such topics as sustainability, social justice, and other bleeding-heart liberal causes. The BCPA steals from the working class poor and gives (entertainment) to the rich. As for the Arena, well I think we all know mistake #1 was building it in the first place. In the meantime, I wonder about the arena’s median event attendance. The average is likely skewed by the 2-4 big or big-ish names/events each year. The median is likely much, much lower.


  2. Anything on BCPA average attendance and revenue? This may have already been put out and I missed it – something tells me it’s not a lot on either count.


  3. Keep in mind attendance figures include any person who walks through the door for any “event” , which is not a true reflection of tickets sold or revenue generated.

    It is (past) time for the council to come up with a plan to eliminate the never ending losses and consumption of tax dollars that are being wasted. It is no longer acceptable to push the responsibility off on the management company. Council, you ARE the management company.


  4. The sales tax increase of 2009 was to pay for bonds issued for the Coliseum. There had been a 0.25% increase in 2005 or 2006 for the bonds for the purchase of the BCPA and Creativity center in the Cultural District. Now, the Cultural District is part of Parks & Rex. Parks & Rec are paid for with property taxes. So, the question is, do property taxes AND sales taxes go to support the BCPA? How much subsidy is needed for 150/event? Is Parks & Rec going to take over operational AND maintenance responsibilities for the Creativity Center as well? This is getting even more out of hand.

    Liked by 1 person

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