City rakes in $4.9 million from state for City for Champions


In the first two years of state sales tax rebates for the city tourism venture known as City for Champions, the city has received $4.9 million.

The city receives a cut of sales tax revenue that exceeds the amount collected in the base year, which started Dec. 1, 2013, and finished Nov. 30, 2014, within the so-called regional tourism zone. The zone in this case is almost the entire city.

The Office of Economic Development and International Trade reports that last year, the extra sales tax over the base year was $2,167,944.

This year, the figure is  $2,726,156.

In December 2013, the Colorado Economic Development Commission approved the city's proposal for the money to fund its City for Champions tourism attractions. Venues include a downtown Olympic Museum; downtown sports and events stadium; sports medicine and performance center at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and an Air Force Academy visitors center.

The reason these dollar figures are important? Because this is a key part of the financing for the city's proposed tourism venues.

If you just consider that in the first two years, the city averaged $2.5 million in state revenues, you might figure the city would be looking at $50 million over the 20 years — far short of the goal.

However, if one assumes that every year the tax will increase by the 25 percent leap it took from Year 1 to Year 2, then in the 20th year, the city share would be $96.8 million.

And, during those 20 years, the state tax rebate would total $473.9 million. Of which, only a quarter would have been paid out to the city.

Now that would be evidence of a good investment on the part of the state. But of course, it's unlikely the tax will increase by 25 percent in each and every one of the coming 18 years.

Meanwhile, the actual projects are off to a slow start so far. The museum is the farthest along, but the Gazette is reporting the effort is short in fundraising and groundbreaking has been delayed, with a March 31 deadline for a financing deal tied to donations. Some progress has been made on the UCCS project, but the other two ventures have stalled.

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