Yet another round on the Theatre boondoggle.
With the sagging economy and tough situation facing some families, Bountiful Mayor Joe Johnson has the perfect solution: raise taxes!
The Standad Examiner article (“Financial picture for arts center getting brighter” – not available on the web) notes:
“I think that’s a pretty bright picture, considering where we were. It’s encouraging,” Johnson said.
Jason Burningham, a bond expert with Lewis, Young, Robertson and Burningham, laid out two financial outlines for the project. If Centerville is willing to put up some security — a sales tax or a franchise tax — organizers could bond for as much as $14.9 million by mid-April of this year, he estimated, at an interest rate of 3.8 percent. [emphasis added]
The theater is a combined project of the cities of Bountiful and Centerville and the Centerville RDA.
With the possibility of tourism revenue from the county of up to $2.5 million over a period of years, and potential revenues from leasing the theater to the South Davis Cultural Arts Association, Burningham is pushing ahead with a financing package.
Discussion of putting up new security to secure better bond rates has just been raised. Some Centerville officials likened the possibility of authorizing a pledge to that of co-signing for someone else to buy a vehicle. The city council would have to authorize any such pledge.
In other words, if revenues become lean, the city will raise your taxes and burdens so that the special interests don’t have to “go without”.
The crux of the whole thing is summed up extremely well by Mayor Johnson himself:
Officials also talked about efforts to raise private funds for the project, but Johnson and others said it would be difficult to count on those revenues.
“I’d hate to think we’re going to build something based on donations,” Johnson said. [emphasis added]
The thought of people voluntarily supporting a project is just nauseating, apparently. As I noted a post a few weeks ago, proponents don’t seem to want to raise any donations, despite their promises to do so. They much prefer to just take it via legalized stealing. Mayor Johnson completely confirms that mentality – it is better to force people to pay for my fun than make the effort to garner voluntary support.
I also noticed two other points from the article. First rather than “South Davis Cultural Arts Center” the “South” has been ommitted (now it is the “Davis Cultural Arts Center”). I’m guessing that this was an effort to make the project more palitable for the County Commission. That leads me to the second point – the article also states the County Commission is considering dumping $2.5 million into the political pet project…that is $500,000 higher than the last number.