Fact Check – Eau Claire County Return On Investment

Fact-Check-countyWednesday, December 18, 2013

Eau Claire County will Directly Benefit Economically from Arts Center

It is estimated Eau Claire County will realize an additional $140,000 in sales tax in the first year of the arts center operation, and an estimated property tax revenue increase of more than $750,000 from the overall project after five years.

Arts Center Direct Impact – First Year

  • More than 186,000 patrons – 40% from outside County
  • $1.08 million in organizational expenditures
  • $3.55 million in audience expenditures
  • 4.6 million in total economic impact (without multipliers)
  • 141 Total FTE Jobs (supported by audience and organization expenditures)
  • 40 Direct FTE Jobs (directly supported by arts and culture nonprofits)


Property and Sales Tax Revenue to Eau Claire County

Operating under revenue caps, local governments must rely on growth in property and sales taxes to sustain current programs and to address new needs. While property tax growth related to this project will be considerable, performing arts centers typically are excellent generators of sales tax.

Property Tax Impact

  • Overall property tax revenue to County year one – $200,505
  • Mixed use building is projected to generate more than $500,000 taxes annually
  • Eau Claire County property tax increase after 5 years – $769,653

Sales Tax Impact

  • Annual direct local sales tax revenue accrued to Eau Claire County – $20,286
  • Applying the Confluence Project’s 6.9 multiplier to the Center’s equipment, professional services and supplies purchases, annual county sales tax revenue increases by $139,974 during the Arts Center’s first full year of operation
  • State sales tax revenues will increase $1,399,740. Some of that money will return to Eau Claire as state-shared revenue


Shared Funding is Effective and Efficient Use of Public Resources

Significant community projects are considerably more difficult to accomplish today. Funding partnerships assure broad and sustainable community support. Shared services and shared resources is fast becoming the new normal; it is more efficient government and it is the right thing to do.

The Arts Center will Help Promote Conventions and Tourism

It has been suggested that as much as 30% of typical convention activity could be accommodated in the proposed arts center. Visit Eau Claire has been hindered by lack of facilities; this project will help.

The Confluence Project is an Important Resource to Attract and Retain Business

Several recent publications note the importance of cultural and entertainment assets in economic development efforts. Zach Halmstad, JAMF Software’s founder recently stated that the vibrance of the Barstow redevelopment and anticipation of the Confluence Project is considered an employee perk just as significant as their 401(k) and health plans. This is the new paradigm in economic development, and the Eau Claire area is well positioned to compete in this new business development marketplace.


The Good Life:  A Cultural Direction for Eau Claire County

“As we move forward we should capitalize on the unique identity of downtown Eau Claire, built on the confluence of two scenic and historically interesting rivers, to bring about social and economic change – the change residents are still clamoring for three decades after the downtown revitalization efforts began in Eau Claire.”

Only one question on The Good Life survey directly asked respondents about downtown Eau Claire: “Please indicate the degree to which you agree with the following statements…A vibrant arts district in the downtown city of Eau Claire is important.”

87% of survey respondents agreed or strongly agreed with this statement. This unsolicited attention and consideration from survey respondents – no matter where in Eau Claire County they live – suggests the importance of downtown Eau Claire to cultural life of the city and county.


Let Your Voice be Heard!

Contacting your elected officials is an important part of this process. They need to know LOTS of people support the Confluence Project, so every email is very important. Please take a moment to email the Eau Claire County Board of Supervisors. Ask them to collaborate with the City and support the Confluence Project with a $5 million investment. Not sure what to say? Sample emails are available at Tools & Resources.

Eau Claire County Board of Supervisors Email Addresses:

gary.gibson@co.eau-claire.wi.us, paul.reck@co.eau-claire.wi.us, doug.kranig@co.eau-claire.wi.us, stella.pagonis@co.eau-claire.wi.us, bruce.stabenow@co.eau-claire.wi.us, richard.ziemann@co.eau-claire.wi.us, steve.chilson@co.eau-claire.wi.us, kevin.stelljes@co.eau-claire.wi.us, gordon.steinhauer@co.eau-claire.wi.us, michael.conlin@co.eau-claire.wi.us, ray.henning@co.eau-claire.wi.us, colleen.bates@co.eau-claire.wi.us, jean.schlieve@co.eau-claire.wi.us, nick.smiar@co.eau-claire.wi.us, joel.mikelson@co.eau-claire.wi.us, gregg.moore@co.eau-claire.wi.us, jim.dunning@co.eau-claire.wi.us, gerald.wilkie@co.eau-claire.wi.us, bruce.willett@co.eau-claire.wi.us, ardyth.krause@co.eau-claire.wi.us, sue.miller@co.eau-claire.wi.us, robin.leary@co.eau-claire.wi.us, john.manydeeds@co.eau-claire.wi.us, gloria.christensen@co.eau-claire.wi.us, tami.schraufnagel@co.eau-claire.wi.us, paul.lokken@co.eau-claire.wi.us, john.derosier@co.eau-claire.wi.us, pat.lavelle@co.eau-claire.wi.us, contact@communityfortheconfluence.org,

Email Addresses separate by semi-colon for Outlook Users:

gary.gibson@co.eau-claire.wi.us; paul.reck@co.eau-claire.wi.us; doug.kranig@co.eau-claire.wi.us; stella.pagonis@co.eau-claire.wi.us; bruce.stabenow@co.eau-claire.wi.us; richard.ziemann@co.eau-claire.wi.us; steve.chilson@co.eau-claire.wi.us; kevin.stelljes@co.eau-claire.wi.us; gordon.steinhauer@co.eau-claire.wi.us; michael.conlin@co.eau-claire.wi.us; ray.henning@co.eau-claire.wi.us; colleen.bates@co.eau-claire.wi.us; jean.schlieve@co.eau-claire.wi.us; nick.smiar@co.eau-claire.wi.us; joel.mikelson@co.eau-claire.wi.us; gregg.moore@co.eau-claire.wi.us; jim.dunning@co.eau-claire.wi.us; gerald.wilkie@co.eau-claire.wi.us; bruce.willett@co.eau-claire.wi.us; ardyth.krause@co.eau-claire.wi.us; sue.miller@co.eau-claire.wi.us; robin.leary@co.eau-claire.wi.us; john.manydeeds@co.eau-claire.wi.us; gloria.christensen@co.eau-claire.wi.us; tami.schraufnagel@co.eau-claire.wi.us; paul.lokken@co.eau-claire.wi.us; john.derosier@co.eau-claire.wi.us; pat.lavelle@co.eau-claire.wi.us; contact@communityfortheconfluence.org;