Saturday, February 14, 2009

CIB Secrecy Continues; The Time for Accountability is Now

The Indiana Business Journal reported today that the Capital Improvement Board is considering asking investors in the Circle City Mall to write off part of the profits on their investment that they agreed to redirect to the building of the Conseco Fieldhouse. CIB may ask them to forgive the $34 million they are owed by 2017.

Gary Welsh over at Advance Indiana does an excellent job of breaking down the dishonesty in this latest CIB proposal.

What I would single out as reprehensible is this:

Mall investors were one of many funding sources for the 18,345-seat Fieldhouse. Under a plan negotiated by then-Mayor Stephen Goldsmith in the mid-1990s, other sources included $50 million from a special “sports tax zone,” $10 million each from Eli Lilly and Co. and the General Assembly, and $57 million from the Pacers, which are owned by the founders of Simon Property Group.

CIB officials could not say whether the Pacers have made good on their promised contribution, which carried some conditions based on team revenue. The team did get to keep the $40 million Conseco paid for naming rights.

That bears repeating. The CIB cannot or will not (I would think either is bad) tell the public whether the Simons paid the agreed to $57 million dolars for the construction of Conseco Fieldhouse for the Pacers.

Again, the CIB is not telling people whether the Simons kept their part of the bargain in kicking in $57 million for Conseco. It should be noted that the President of the CIB, Bob Grand, represent the Simons who own the Pacers.

Yet, the CIB and the administration wants to give the Pacers $15 million more, possibly from the taxpayers. Before the CIB makes that decision, the CIB might to come clean on whether the Pacers paid the $57 million they owed. Oh, and the CIB might also demand for an independent audit of the Pacers rather simply take the organization's word that the team is losing money.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ogden, you're missing the big point. The Simons didn't participate with the rest of the Circle Center investors in rolling over their profits into the arena. They pocketed their Circle Center money - another sweetheart deal where they don't have any lease payments because they "threaten tax exempt bonds", yeah right - and took even more subsidies with the Fieldhouse too. Saving the Pacers tuned out to be one of the best investments the simons ever made. They pacers are profitable too. Don't let anyody fool you. None of this bs would stand up to an independent audit, once you sorted out the related party transactions.

burlingtonasacoach said...

Paul

Reading the article on the CIB relating to the possibility of asking investors in the Circle City Mall to write off and forgive the 34 million they are owed by the year 2017, I noticed JPMorgan Chase invested 6.3 million. How ironic is it that the federal government gave billions out to banks in bail outs with JPMorgan being one of the recipients of one and quarter billion dollars taxpayer dollars and now the CIB is asking for a bailout.

According to testimony from Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, "As this Committee is aware, JPMorgan Chase did not seek the government’s investment. But we agreed to support the government’s goal of obtaining the participation of all major banks. The funds we received strengthened our already strong capital base, which is the foundation of all of our lending activities. In addition Dimon informed the committee that he refused a bonus in 2008. http://www.house.gov/apps/list/hearing/financialsvcs_dem/jamiedimon021109.pdf

Maybe the CIB should be more respectful of taxpayers' money by having some of the B&T attorneys do some pro-bono work to save the city taxpayers some money.

Leslie Sourwine notices how taxpayer money is quick to change hands when it comes to corporate welfare.

Downtown Indy said...

And so now the commissioner, Stern, is speaking out on the matter and thinkgs the Pacers need a leg up?

http://www.indystar.com/article/20090215/SPORTS04/902150418

Unbelievable.

Tap the taxpayer, no problem. Put the burden on the teams/players to make ends meet? Hell no!

Paul K. Ogden said...

Yes, Anon 11:20 p.m., I want that independent audit. The fact we're not demanding that before giving money is quite remarkable.

Leslie, some other people have pointed out that some of the investors asking to write off their loan are getting bailout money from the feds. Always it's the taxpayers who pay the price.

burlingtonasacoach said...

Paul

Taxpayers are paying taxes upon taxes and as many are being thrown out of their homes and forced to put children to bed hungry the government continues to take our money and give it away. It's Robin hood and his merry men in reverse. The poor are getting nothing and the rich are taking it all. It's the citizens who hold the purse strings, the people with the real power to put a stop to all this craziness but it is only a few what will stop grumbling and do something about it. Thank you for bringing all money grabbing activities to our attention. It isn't only the people who read your blog taking notice of what is going on; the people who read the Star and make comments are also getting fed up.
Leslie Sourwine again asks what is the difference between a crook and a politician?

Downtown Indy said...

I finally found the reference I was looking for - regarding the Simon HQ building. 'We' gave them $23M and free land to put their new building on a few years ago.

http://www.bloomingtonalternative.com/node/7573

The article at that link is entitled, "Simon says, 'Gimmie'" - but guess what? It's dated 2004, not 2009!

So they are playing the same old sad song, again.

Concerned Taxpayer said...

And, "Downtown" we ALSO GAVE THEM A CITY-OWNED UNDERGROUND PARKING GARAGE FOR THEIR EMPLOYEES! Again, taking away more income from the city.

Anonymous said...

Forbes calculated that the current market value of the Pacers is over $300 million.
If the Simon boys are losing money then sell the damn thing. Hell, they only paid $11 million for it when they bought it.
Do these people really think we're all as stupid as they think?

Anonymous said...

Before another penny of taxpayer money is sucked up by the black hole know as the CIB we the taxpayers should demand; a list of all debts including the amortization schedules and total dollar outlays. What do we owe, to whom do we owe it. It is a travesty that the CIB rather that paying off their debts used the restaurant tax as their own revolving charge card. Show us where the money went and while you are at it show us a "signed contract" for the Colt's agreement, it seems that I for one don't trust you.

Concerned Taxpayer said...

I was told many, many years ago that part of the Market Square agreement with the Simons was that they would have to pay rent to the city if their income on the Pacers reached a certain level.

It seems as though it never did, and they would never allow the city to see the books to confirm that.

Surprise!