Jan 14, 2023 – A Way Ahead for the Brown County Music Center

we the people declaration and flag

Updated Jan 15, 2023  

On the banner for Brown County Matters Facebook page, there is a reference to secular and non-secular approaches to improvement supported through the Brown County Leader Network (BCLN).

A secular approach supports decisions made by the few and the non-secular supports changes where everyone (all stakeholders affected) can benefit – or at least will not be any worse off in the long term.

    • Secular – Man defines the ideal influenced by many factors: experience, education, ideology, and philosophy.
      • America – Citizens define the ideal
      • Quality Management –Customer defines the ideal
      • Science Fiction –Non-humans define the ideal
    • Non-Secular Strategy – God has described the ideal; All needs are perfectly met. Actions are guided through a Biblical worldview and moral standard

An Interesting post at Brown County Chatter reinforces the secular and nonsecular strategies.
The post started with a question about the Little Opry and then branched off into the Music Center (BCMC).

Discussions regarding the Music Center will most likely always be divisive and polarizing.  A cause?  The project was fast-tracked by perhaps the well-intentioned few with the belief that although the primary motivation was to benefit the tourism industry, residents would benefit as well.

Initially, a bond was considered as a funding source that would have required community-wide support.  Then it was determined that collateral from the innkeeper’s tax would be sufficient and would just need a few people to push it through. Consequently, public meetings by elected officials to gather citizen input and support would not be needed.  Elected officials refused to contract for an independent study to assess the feasibility and risk on behalf of the citizenry.

To summarize, the venue was built to generate more tourism that benefits tourism-related businesses.  Collateral for the loan is revenue from the innkeeper’s tax. This tax is a subsidy provided by the State of Indiana to fund marketing for tourism that generates sales tax revenue.  The state is funded primarily by sales and income tax.  The county is funded by income and property tax. The BCMC is of value for some residents but without tourism-related funding and support, it most likely would never have been built. Plus,  the private sector never demonstrated a financial capability in building a venue.

A way ahead for the BCMC?  HONOR the commitments that were made that county taxpayers would not be expected to bail out this venue.  Refrain from the spin that the venue was built for the entire community (county). Leverage the use of the revenue from the innkeepers’ tax and any excess profits from the Music Center to support county priorities as determined by elected officials with input from all the stakeholders and not just a few.

Additional Information:

stakeholder community

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