True Cost of Biltmore Not Paying its Back Rent

I am struck by one of the proposals of the city manager, who indicated that if the City Commission wanted to adopt a millage rate of 5.895 compared to the proposed rate of 6.072,  $1,990,000 revenues would be lost.  We note that the Biltmore Hotel is stated in the budget to have refused to pay rent for $1,910,000. ( I understand a temporary agreement on this might have been reached.)

Therefore, we see what it would cost the city taxpayer’s to have to pay for the Biltmore.

On page ix of the Estimate Budget the following items are lost by the city:  reduce cultural funding, $75,000; reduce funding for 7 police officers and 1 civilian position, $560,000; reduce city paid health insurance, $685,000; reduce 2 firefighter positions, $145,000; reduce police overtime, $300,000; and reduce 2 workdays through furloughing, $225,000.

This is $1,990,000 and shows the cost to the city and taxpayers of Biltmore’s failure to pay–about 7 police officers, cut health insurance, lose 2 firefighters, cut police overtime and furloughing staff and cutting cultural spending. This the same tax reduction that would be lost by our citizens.  It is worth it for taxpayers and residents to suffer these cuts for the Biltmore?  I think not.

About Stephen E. McGaughey
International consultant in economic development programs and projects

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