Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Peoria Riverfront Museum Still Seeks New Market Tax Credits

As of September, 2010, Caterpillar PRM Committee member, Doug Beasley, said that THEY? are still seeking NMTC. What are these tax credits the museum project is seeking? As Peoria County Administrator Urich explains, "New Market Tax Credits are federal income TAX credits granted to equity investors in project(s) that serve low income communities. The eligible project areas are determined by the TREASURY DEPARTMENT and downtown Peoria qualifies for these types of investments."

Whew. Now you know that all those people who live in the Twin Towers, the 400 or so who live in expensive downtown lofts and the people who work in all the public and private sector buildings downtown, including Caterpillar Corporate Headquarters qualify as low income.

Or that all those people who work for the public sector, or at Bradley and ICC North, the Ag Lab, all the hospital managers and employees, banker, lawyers, Indian Chiefs, etc, are all low income? If so why do we build all these enhancements. Oh, I see, they are for potential resident visitors from Las Vegas, California, Chicago, New York, St. Louis, etc.

But we were told that most visitors would come from the Tri-County area and people from Bloomington, Galesburg, Springfield and LaSalle-Peru would probably not stay overnight n Peoria. Was it because of so much murder and violence such as lockers still being vandalized at the RiverPlex?? Or just safer to use the drugs they buy from Peoria dealers maybe after visiting the museum, in the safety of their own homes?

Evidently people can afford to belong to the RiverPlex, attend the expensive shows at the Civic Center, go to the ballpark, will be able to afford the high cost of attending the new museum with pay-for-underground-parking, attend, work and teach at Bradley, the AG CEnter, ICC North, work at the Cat Hdqtrs., the law offices, hospitals and doctors, the high cost of living downtown Condos, etc., but are all still low income people?


Maybe the reason these "movers and shakers" who have been trying to get these NMTC since 2007, haven't convinced the feds that this area is "low income". Or that maybe investors who stand to make money on these NMTC bonds are skeptical of the success of this watered down "Regional World Class Museum".


Now you know why your property taxes, sales taxes, fees, fines, permits, etc., are increasing at a faster percentage than the net worth of the rest of the county.

2nd point is that this museum project was budgeted at $79,767,588 less than nine months ago, but is currently budgeted at between $92-94 million (Letter from Administrator Urich to County Board Chairman Thomas O'Neill 111, dated 1/14/2010).

The same letter quotes Urich, "the endowment needs to be at a minimum of $6,750,000and to hedge against NOT MEETING REVENUE collections, it should be over $12,000,000. The costs of construction of the museum building, estimated $41 million, are virtually covered (they were completely covered before the planned roll-over or $5+ million facility tax dollars given to the museum folks to "rollover" to help fund the STILL underfunded endowment).

Need I remind you again that almost $14 million has already been spent, or maybe more by now. Or remind you that "The National Citizens Survey TM, dated 2010, Peoria, County showed that 65% of those surveyed "somewhat oppose or strongly oppose a sales tax increase for the Riverfront Museum".

Copy available from Jennifer Zinkel, Peoria County Courthouse, 5th floor.

And now, most likely nooooooooooooo IMAX but a big wide digital screen maybe called XAMI??


steven edward streight said...

This whole Peoria Riverfront Museum mess is a good example of how out of touch our politicians and community leaders are.

Museums are mausoleums where bad art goes to die.

Your post is very astute. I never realized that all those folks were low income. I feel so much better, and richer, now.


Merle Widmer said...

Tax credits are a dime a dozen. Find an article in Forbes Magazine, November 26, 2001, titled, "Government by Tax Credits" by Janet Novack. Ms. Novack wrote that "Government meddling in ever more areas of business and personal affairs, doing some of it through a back door; little noticed and even less understood method: the targeted tax credit." Ten years later this method of sticking it to the people flourishes under the Democrats and is not overlooked by Republicans.

Hence the Tea Party dissenters of candidates and incumbents in both parties.

Local wealthy people are savvy to not making too many large donations to big projects like the Museum Project because they know that somewhere is a tax credit waiting to be tapped.

Ex-Mayor Ransburg guarantees to raise $10 million for the museum and once that money is raised "we won't stop raising more".

Want to bet where at least 80% will come from? If it comes at all? How could I be wrong? That's where 72% has come from as of July 31.

We wouldn't be so upset if it was as promised which was just the other way around. 70+=% from the "movers ans shakers" and 28-33%from the largely disinterested Peoria County residents.

Disinterested in visiting the museum. Downtown, that is.