First, we had the numbers from the Rhythm and Roots promo; then, we see the new version as per the Godbold research, which was walked back a little from the original survey: (taken from the City Council Minutes April 4, 2011)
“Upon questioning, Mrs. Epley responded that Gardner-Webb University’s Godbold School of Business study determined the positive economic impact to be exponentially greater, approximately $180 million over a ten-year period, when both catalyst projects, the Don Gibson Theatre, and the Earl Scruggs Center, are up and running.”
Rhythm & Roots project, according to the DVD/video produced and shared by DCC, claimed that this project would produce 1000 jobs and bring in $200 million in the 10 years following the project’s completion.
Some lease details:
The lease is for 10 years at $1 each year.
Cleveland County government will retain complete control over the grounds and repair the exterior and interior of the property.
However, DCC, at its sole cost and expense, can make improvements on the property, including “major renovations” that don’t “disturb the structural integrity” of the property.
Renovations must begin within 12 months of signing the lease. Renovations must be done and the Scruggs Center has to be operational within 60 months from the date of the lease.
It must be open to the public for at least 30 hours each week. At least 8 of those hours must offer free admission to Cleveland County residents.
No more than 20 percent of the exhibit space can be dedicated to one person or entity.
DCC will pay any taxes which may be levied or assessed during the lease on all equipment or personal property owned by DCC and is on the leased property.
DCC will be responsible for “all sales taxes imposed on the business conducted on the leased property”.
DCC will have access to “artifacts and other collectibles” owned by the county that are in the courthouse.
DCC will “pay any and all license fees, occupation taxes, and/or privilege taxes imposed upon the business conducted on the leased property.”
We are supposed to believe that the Occupancy Tax, or the Hotel Tax is funding all this. Only a total of about $100,000 per year is taken in by the city to fund this. Our question is:
Why is one entity being given so much of this revenue, while the City officials treat other entities just the opposite? It is not the responsibility of this city to make sure some local LLC or non-profit can make their payroll and meet their obligations, while at the same time, giving them a building for $1 per year.
Why is the Mayor, along with the City and County Managers serving on many of the various organizations as board members? It may be the norm, and it may be quite legal, but it’s also quite politically incestuous in appearance, as well. What easier way for a corporation to receive the blessings of a community when you have the leaders of the said community on your board of directors? Why buy bread when you can own the bakery?
Now, let’s look at the numbers regarding the Occupancy Tax as released by the county. The total from the City of Shelby is included in the numbers below. Also, know that this money is passed to the Chamber of Commerce for distribution, and notice who sits on their board.
Here are the receipts for the past 5 years.
Again, do the math as you look at the numbers released by the City Council minutes that were recently approved: