Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Carmel Palladium Needs More Money So Tenants Can Pay Rent

Carmel Mayor James Brainard is asking the city council to dip into the city's general fund to provide $840,000 in additional funding to the Center for the Performing Arts on top of the $5.5 million in funding the Palladium received to cover operating expenses paid from the Carmel City Center Community Development Corporation. The additional money is needed to cover a large budget deficit according to Mayor Brainard. If you read a little deeper into the IBJ story on the request for additional funding, however, you learn that additional money is also being doled out to several arts groups that pay rent for the use of the Palladium:
Brainard’s proposal would mean more money for 16 other arts groups as well. The Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre would get $190,000, Carmel Symphony Orchestra would get $200,000, and the Carmel Repertory Theatre Inc. would get $150,000.
All those groups are resident companies at the center, paying rent.
The proposed $1.62 million is much more than the council planned to spend last fall. At the time, the council approved $265,000 to support local arts groups, Brainard said.
The bigger allocation is possible now, he said, because the city's tax revenue increased by $6.5 million, thanks to the Indiana Department of Revenue's recently discovered accounting error.
Brainard says his goal is to reduce the annual subsidy to the Palladium to $2 million a year. He's hoping to cut its operating budget by having the city take over responsibility for paying for janitorial services and paying its utilities directly. The City of Carmel now officially spends more money subsidizing the arts than the City of Indianapolis despite being a fraction of its size. Indianapolis more than makes up for the difference, though, with its subsidies to professional sports teams. One has to wonder if the Palladium will ever become self-sustaining without a large endowment from a private benefactor. The Lucas Oil Palladium, anybody?


Cato said...

With the swarm of predatory pigs Carmel employs, everyone who knows better should stay out of that revenue-generating bloodthirsty hellhole and starve it.

I don't care who plays the Palladium, those pigs cost that event center all my business, and I know I'm not alone.

Note to Carmel businesses: demand that Brainard get your pigs off the roads so I can visit your stores without the risk of a vampire attack.

When I can visit your overspent, overtaxed, immoral indulgence of your egos with your neighbor's taxpayer dollars without ever seeing a pig, I'll consider spending some money there.

Until that happens, let the Palladium go belly up, and let your 80,000 residents foot the entire bill and pay higher taxes to cover the deficits.

Pete Boggs said...

Give that money to the citizens so it could help them pay their property taxes.

Bruce Kimball said...

Cato, I take it you are not going to buy season tickets? I would suggest maybe therapy instead. Your hatered is over the top. Let me tell you what Governor Daniels said recently about Carmel. "Carmel is a city every knowledgeable Hoosier should be proud of." If you have checked Carmel citizens continue to pay the lowest taxes while still building and supporting the Palladium that all of Indiana can enjoy. If you want a tour give me a shout some time.

Bruce Kimball said...

Cato, do I get the sense you are not going to buy season tickets to any of the series at the Palladium.

"Revenue generating bloodthirsty Hellhole?" Dont you think what Carmel is doing is a model for the T-Party. It is investing its own money and the net result is the lowest taxes in Indiana of a City.

Governor Daniels recently Said "Carmel is a city every knowledgeable Hoosier can be proud of."

Now I am not suggesting every city should duplicate Carmel but they certainly can learn how being proactive rather than reactive in the life of a city can benefit all its citizens.

I would be happy to give you a tour and discuss what might work in your community to attract jobs and keep taxes low.

Paul K. Ogden said...


Is there a money tree someplace in Carmel I don't know about? The fact is Carmel's debt has increased about three fold over the past several years.

You have a Mayor, Jim Brainard, who spends money like a drunken sailor. You have all Republicans living in Carmel and for some reason you all elect a big spending liberal as Mayor. I don't get it. But if you think a lack of fiscal discipline is never going to come back to haunt Carmel, I think you're sadly mistaken.

Bruce Kimball said...

Sorry about the nearly double second post. I didn't think the first one had gone through.

Drunken Sailor? While that may make a nice sound bite type response, if you do research you will find that Carmel is stone cold sober while strategically making its investments. Notice I use words like investments because the result is rather than taxes going up they have remained the lowest off any of he fast growing cities in Indiana.. Zionsville Westfield and Noblesville would gladly accept our tax rates. Our tax rates are almost identical to Fishers who is just beginning many of the projects Carmel started decades ago.

Is there a money tree in Carmel? Of course not but just like in private industry when you make an invest you expect a return and revenues have adjusted upward also.

As an example with the same demographics as Fishers, Carmel gets over $12 million more in County Option Income Tax. You will be happy to know the last disbursement was again higher than expectations. Property Tax in Carmel is less than ½ of its revenue.

The world is all about change. Responsible cities are investing in their futures like Carmel. A similar city, Dublin Ohio has seen the same hand writing on the wall that if it is going to continue to attract the jobs and employees of the future it can’t just except the status quo. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/kbenfield/remaking_a_suburb_for_the_crea.html

I volunteer for the city in a number of ways. Paul, I would be more than happy to give you a tour sometime and show you first hand how Carmel's investments are paying off for its citizens.