What does the BCPA cost you?

By:  Diane Benjamin

The budget for the BCPA is buried in the Parks and Rec.  I FOIA’d a detailed Parks and Rec budget to see exactly what it costs.

The budget predicts Revenue of $3,073,270.

It predicts Expenses of $3,349,098.

That is a loss of $275,828.

But that’s not the story!

$1,700,000 of that $3 million in Revenue is Home Rule Sales Tax

$5,000 is a Federal grant

$10,000 is a State grant

Please note:  All of the above are TAX dollars whether it was stolen from you or somebody who doesn’t live here.

Other Revenue:

Rent Income $240,000

Programs Income $5,270

Admission Fees $605,000

Box Office Fees $75,000

Concessions $60,000

Donations $30,000

Private Grants $35,000

Sponsorships and In-Kind contributions $305,000

Other $3,000

Full Time Salaries:  $547,000

Seasonal Salaries:  $175,000

Overtime:  $18,000


Dental  $5.670

Vision $735

Heath $139,584

RHS Contributions $1,590

IMRF $86,164

Soc Security $53,739

Medicare $12,570

Unemploy Insur $4,000

Uniforms $750

LIUNA Pension $749

Total Benefits Cost:  $305,551

Total Cost for Employees:   $1,045,551*

Artist Fees:  $425,000*

Advertising $311,000*

  • Total $1,781,551


The increased Home Rule Sales Tax generates $1,700,000, that’s just enough to pay salaries, artists, and advertising.

The purpose of the BCPA is obviously not to make money, they don’t even try.  Payments on the bonds are not included in the BCPA budget.  The loss on this building is much higher than the budget.

How many “feel good” projects can you afford?  (Coliseum, Connect Transit, BCPA, sports complex?)

Fiscal responsibility doesn’t exist.  

See the detailed budget here:  BCPA Detailed Budget


























15 thoughts on “What does the BCPA cost you?

    1. That amount probably includes benefits too. That’s more than I’m making, but it’s still not much, if you take the cost of benefits out of it. And if custodians are making half that at schools, the schools need to increase salaries.


      1. I know you’re trying to beat a narrative here, but I did my research. I could understand better if this figure included benefits, employer taxes, etc., but when you include those, it’s a heck of a lot more. I’d encourage you to do the research and read the materials before commenting.

        Keeping facilities clean is a needed task. It depends on what other roles/tasks are falling to this position. If it’s solely cleaning and basic maintenance tasks, this is heavily overpaid.

        My question for you Serving Him is how much are you willing to pay in taxes and fees to support salaries far above the market? 10% more? 20% more? 30% more?


  1. This makes me ill. The Council (Farnsworth) wants to make Downtown all Parks and Rec. I’m certain between Tari, Amelia, Scott, and Jamie along with hugs from the Tilton’s the theft will continue. It’s all part of the McLean County Regional Planning commissions design. “Let them have cake” or in this case, use the lawn at the BCPA at no charge.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Since when is transportation a “feel good project?” I use Connect Transit daily. If you want your coffee hot, or your clothes on the rack when shopping, then I have to get to my jobs.


      1. You think golfers are paying full freight? Roads cost money, they also don’t pay for themselves! I can’t afford to go anywhere, but do you think the airport is making money? The people using transit are part of the economy, getting to jobs to flip hamburgers or pour coffee or help stock racks and shelves. We’re going to have to agree to disagree on this one…


      2. Since golf is in an Enterprise fund they do pay for it. In fact golfers at the Den and Prairie Visa are subsidizing Highland. If your brain thinks bus service is worth losing a million dollars a month we have nothing else to discuss. Fiscal irresponsibility costs everybody, including bus riders.


    1. I roughed out the numbers, and taking the bus costs about the same as taking an Uber. (Not what the rider pays, but that plus what the taxpayers pay.) If there was a feasible way to distribute Uber credits to appropriate people, it would create less pollution, potentially be cheaper, and potentially provide income to and encourage entrepreneurship among our underprivileged.


    2. Due to the increased taxes and fees we have to pay every year to provide guaranteed 3% salary increases and retirement increases every year, subsidize millions of dollars in losses for Connect Transit – which we will never use, etc., we brew our own coffee at home for a small fraction of the cost. I wish my wife and I got a guaranteed 3% per year like the local government workers here plus gold-plated benefits.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve said for a long time that Bloomington citizens vastly underestimated how much the BCPA costs them. It’s basically $3 mill ($1,700,000 Home Rule Sales Tax + $275,828 budgeted operational loss), NOT including the debt service. I would rather see the BCPA go away more than the Coliseum.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The BCPA is for the lilly white elitist progressives to convince themselves that they’re “cultured”. In reality, it’s reverse Robinhood economics…robbing the working poor (via higher taxes) to supplement the entertainment of the upper-middle class.


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