The Capital Improvement Board of Marion County is running $12 million ahead of budget, due in large part to higher revenue and fewer expenses than members expected.If you back out the $4 million the MDC already transferred to the CIB from a downtown TIF district to fund the ICVA, that still puts the CIB's budget $8 million ahead, which is the exact amount it requested for the ICVA. According to Olson's story, the CIB collected about $1 million more in food and beverage taxes than it budgeted, and it received $1.3 million more than it budgeted from the expanded Professional Sports Development Area, which was part of a combination of tax diversions, tax increases and borrowing the CIB incurred to avert what it claimed was "a going concern problem" just last year. Olson also reports county admissions tax revenues were close to $1 million more than the CIB had anticipated. So the CIB underestimated its revenues by more than $3 million. Does anyone believe that was not intentional?
Through the first nine months of the year, the most recent budget numbers available, CIB posted $67 million in total revenue—$6.5 million more than budgeted—and trimmed $5.8 million in expenses.
A large chunk of the revenue, $4 million, is part of $8 million CIB received from the city to use toward the $10 million it will provide the Indiana Pacers to help operate Conseco Fieldhouse. Overall, CIB will give the team $30 million over the next three years.
Still, CIB President Ann Lathrop is satisfied with the agency’s financial situation, particularly since it spent most of last year wrestling with a $47 million budget deficit. CIB will meet for the last time this year at 3 p.m. Monday in the Indiana Convention Center board room.
“I think our revenues are trending higher,” she said. “Even if you take out the $4 million, we’re still trending ahead.”
I don't know how many times the City-County Council will allow the corrupt leadership of the CIB to pull the wool over its eyes to extract more of our tax dollars before it finally says enough is enough. The CIB's total budget for next year, which the council has already approved, is $104.4 million, an 11% increase over this year's budget. Olson says the CIB thinks hotel and food and beverage tax receipts could climb 3% to 6% next year because of the additional business the CIB anticipates from an expanded convention center. The CIB continues to heavily subsidize out-of-town conventioneers in order to lure business to the city. "The downside is that CIB can’t bill a convention for the use of extra help, which shows up in its budget as an $863,878 shortfall through September in labor reimbursements," Olson writes. “There are still extreme price pressures out there to make the city competitive [to host a convention],” Lathrop said. “There’s just a lot of deal-making going on right now.”