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CIB chief: $160M Pacers deal won't require tax hike

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The president of the Capital Improvement Board said Friday afternoon that she is confident no tax increase or new taxes will be needed to fund the $160 million agreement that extends the Indiana Pacers’ Bankers Life Fieldhouse lease through at least the 2023-2024 season.

Ann Lathrop, a partner with the accounting firm Crowe Horwath, said that under the new deal, CIB will provide about $11 million toward operating expenses annually, which is only about $1 million more than it has been paying annually since 2010.

While the deal also calls for CIB to provide $33.5 million for renovations and capital projects, Lathrop said CIB already was responsible for some of those expenditures. And she noted the fieldhouse only has had $6.5 million in capital improvements since it opened in 1999.

The $33.5 million, she said, “is going into a building we own and need to maintain. It seems very prudent we would make those improvements to keep a major tenant in the building. It is no different than any other real estate transaction.”

Lathrop said CIB positioned itself to absorb major capital expenditures by refinancing debt at low rates, which has allowed the quasi-governmental entity to sock away tens of millions of dollars in reserves.

While the 2014 budget shows expenses of $152 million and just $119 million in revenue, the gap is “very manageable and completely anticipated” and reflects the board’s decision to tap reserves for capital projects scheduled at its venues this year, Lathrop said. CIB owns the Indiana Convention Center and downtown pro sports venues.

Most of CIB's budget comes from such sources as hotel and motel taxes, food and beverage taxes and admissions taxes.

Lathrop said the current revenue sources are sufficient.

“We have been able to take refinancing savings and utilize that for those capital needs. We just need to do prudent planning in our revenue and expense budget," she said.

Pacers and CIB officials have scheduled a press conference for 10:30 a.m. Monday to discuss the deal. It is expected to be approved at a CIB board meeting that afternoon.
 

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  • Penny Wise!
    Yes, let's spend millions and millions to keep those $2.13/hr service jobs abundant!
  • When it comes from taxes...
    Imagine operating at a 30 million/year deficit and calling it "manageable." This is how organizations who live off taxes and don't have to account for their spending think of money.
  • Real Estate 101
    From the story: The $33.5 million, she said, “is going into a building we own and need to maintain. It seems very prudent we would make those improvements to keep a major tenant in the building. It is no different than any other real estate transaction.” Except that the Pacers pay zero rent for a $100 million building. That's probably a slight difference from 99.99% of real estate transactions. Is there some spinoff economic activity (that wouldn't have occurred elsewhere in Marion County) if not for having the Pacers downtown? Sure. But can anyone substantiate quantitatively how the extra $16 million/year is justified? It would appear that to many of the supporters of this deal, the dollar amounts are irrelevant, and the only thing that matters is doing whatever it takes to keep the Pacers in place for another ten years. Would there be a cost at which doing so would be too high? If not $16 million/year, what if it were $20M? $25M? $30M? What is the limit?
  • Blind as a bat
    Italiano. Who do you think works all the jobs in the downtown restaurants and other service businesses. Robots? I work in a restaurant near Bankers Life. If the Pacers don't occupy the building my job goes bye bye. Is that so hard to understand?
  • SICK
    Our elected and bribed officials make me sick. They pump our tax dollars into the pockets of billionaires when the city hungers for police protection, decent roads and other basic services. The sad thing is when we vote them out, we will get another set that is just as bad, because the billionaires have the money to buy their service. And the jobs created "bull"oney is just that.
    • Prudent
      Do you people not understand how many thousands of downtown jobs are created because we have first class stadiums and arenas in our Central Business District. If these facilities are not maintained the teams and events go away. Get It!! The conversation goes slightly deeper than you all can comprehend.
    • Why maintain
      Why do we need to maintain a building that generates not revenue for the taxpayers and only costs more. Sounds like Wash DC. Not a tax raise just continuation of raise that should go away.
    • Liars, Damn Liars and the CIB
      Why wouldn't someone believe Ann Lathrop? She has a lengthy history of lying when it comes to CIB finances. How many times do we have to be fooled before we start calling out the BS?
    • Really?!?
      I'm so glad the millionaire welfare queens won't require a tax increase to keep them here. The City should be ashamed of itself. Giving $160 million to poor millionaires while scrounging for money for streets, sidewalks and police.
    • Simon
      Wow. The Simons continue to suck all of the money out of the city. But thanks for the 20k bike you spent on the bike share. 160 million>20k

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