With private donations for the city's new arts center falling short and his use of public funds under state scrutiny, Mayor Jim Brainard will go to a pot that includes money he wanted to avoid -- residential property taxes.To see the rest of the article click here.
He'll ask the City Council for $2 million for the Palladium concert hall, scheduled to open in January, and the planned Center for the Performing Arts.
The money would come from a reserve fund that includes income and residential property taxes, the latter a source that Brainard had declared off-limits in funding the arts center. He now says he meant for that to apply only to construction costs, pointing to a document from a 2005 bond issue noting the center might need government support to cover operating costs.
Brainard acknowledged he needs the money because the Carmel Performing Arts Foundation has raised only about $4 million of the $50 million in private donations that he once hoped to attain.
"Concert halls and theaters, just like parks and schools and libraries, don't break even or make money," he said. "This is something we are doing to enhance the quality of life in the community and to enhance economic development."
The center's operating costs are estimated at $4 million in 2011, escalating to as much as $7 million in following years.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard Breaks Promise, Intends to Pursue Property Taxes to Pay Operating Costs of Performing Arts Center
The Indianapolis Star reports:
I can't say I am surprised. Some of us have been sounding the alarm about Mayor Brainard's big spending ways for a long time. Here he wants to use property taxes to fund operating costs. He suggests that funding operating costs out of property tax revenue is okay as long as construction costs are not funded with property taxes. He in fact has it backwards. These buildings need to be self-sufficient once they are built, not rely on property tax revenue to pay utility bills and salaries. Contrary to Brainard's claim, the performing arts center is nothing like a library or a school. Those entities are not designed to raise revenue. The performing arts center though produces income and was supposed to spur economic development in Carmel that will make the development pay for itself.. Apparently those who pushed the project oversold the financial benefits of center which now bears the pretentious name "The Palladium."
Of course these are the folks who are paying Broadway singer and pianist Michael Feinstein $400,000 a year to be "artistic director" which apparently involves no actual work from Feinstein but merely allows Carmel to use his name to promote the center. Is that really worth $400,000?
Another Star article earlier last week talked about the vacant office space as a result of the over development of Carmel. Get used to it Carmelites. A period of much higher taxes, stalled development and businesses leaving the City is coming. You can thank the big-spending, liberal, RINO mayor you keep re-electing for that.
As a side note, the City refused to disclose to a Star reporter how much money was spent on advertising "The Palladium" during the Olympics, nearly a full year before it is set to open. It is not clear what basis city officials have for claiming a right to conceal this information from the public.