I think the amazing amount of life the KFC YUM! Center has added to downtown Louisville proves the wisdom of having made that investment.
But project revenues haven't achieved hoped-for levels, largely due to lower than expected income, property and sales tax boosts in the TIF region surrounding the arena.
This has caused many to panic. But the more level-headed know it's way too early for that.
The growth has just begun. A restored and renovated Whiskey Row will create an even more dynamic entertainment zone. And in the long run, more businesses, large and small – and more downtown dwellers -- will follow, significantly boosting the area's tax base.
But there is something the city should do right now that would immediately generate more money, and that's to start charging an occupational tax on every act that plays the arena. Sell-out crowds for concerts by Lady Gaga, Jimmy Buffett, Elton John and dozens more have made those performers millions of dollars. So why should they be exempt from paying a small percentage of that take to the city like the rest of us do?
The city already taxes people for working here on a daily basis. So there's no justification for giving a free pass to those who are just passing through.
Would this work? Or would it cause the big acts to stay away from Louisville? Call and tell us what you think.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my…Point of View.