Scott Tibbs
blog post
August 11th, 2004

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Eliminate funding for the BEDC

The Monroe County Council had a disagreement over funding priorities last week, with regard to social service funding and a subsidy for the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation. (The entire 2004 county budget is online here.)

Mark Stoops and Scott Wells disagreed with increasing the BEDC's subsidy from $25,000 to $30,000 while the County Commissioners social services budget is being cut.

I think a compromise can be made here. With the county short on funds and in need of new jailers, perhaps the subsidies for both the BEDC and social services need to be eliminated.

According to the 2003 BEDC annual report, they had revenues of $440,000 in 2002. A $25,000 subsidy from the county would be 5% of their revenue.

Like Planned Parenthood, the BEDC is a controversial organization that many people object to subsidizing with their tax dollars. (Unlike Planned Parenthood, the BEDC does not profit from killing people.) I'm not convinced that the BEDC needs the subsidy from county government. An organization as successful in bringing new business as the BEDC claims to be should have no trouble getting private donations to fill in the gap.

As to social services, should not county taxpayers have a choice in which social service organizations to support with their money? By allocating taxpayer funds to social services, government decides for the people what organizations to support.

With funds in short supply, The County Council should spend its resources on the business of county government, and leave social services and economic development to the private sector.