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CIB OKs budget, but awaits council vote

August 10, 2009

Members of the Indianapolis Capital Improvement Board this afternoon passed a $63 million budget for 2010 that hinges on the City-County Council’s approval of a hike in the local hotel tax.

The City-County Council will vote tonight on raising the hotel tax from 9 percent to 10 percent, which would help the CIB close a $47 million operating deficit.

The tax would give the CIB an estimated additional $3.4 million in annual revenue plus a windfall of funding from the state.

Tied to approval of the innkeeper’s tax increase is $9 million in annual loans for three years from the state and $8 million in annual funding the city expects to capture by expanding the Professional Sports Development Area to include sales taxes generated at the new downtown J.W. Marriott hotel.

When including $17 million in cuts the CIB already has made, and other minor funding sources, the agency’s projected deficit for next year still is $3.7 million.

The CIB hopes to make that shortfall up next year with additional revenue it could capture from the facilities it manages, if the economy rebounds. The CIB manages the city’s professional sports facilities and the Indiana Convention Center.

“It’s more of a survival-type of budget at this time,” said Pat Early, who heads the CIB’s compensation committee.

The 2010 budget includes no additional funding for any grants. Also missing from the plan is an extra $3 million the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association had sought for marketing purposes.

“It’s unfortunate,” ICVA Director Don Welsh said. “The timing couldn’t be worse.”

The not-for-profit faces a shortfall largely due to the additional $20 million required annually to operate Lucas Oil Stadium, which is much larger than the RCA Dome it replaced. The organization also expects to absorb $15 million next year in Fieldhouse operating costs.
 

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