Lies, damn lies and statistics.
Mark TwainIf you go into a bar and ask all the patrons if they think the taxpayers should pay for their booze there is a good chance most of them will approve of a tax increase for them to have free government subsidized booze paid for by the rest of us.
Of course it would be statistically invalid to say that the survey taken of drunks you found in a bar means that the taxpayers as a whole think that the government should subsidize the drinking of drunks.
This survey that says people support raising taxes to support the Tempe Center for the Arts seem to be rigged in the same way. The article says "Almost half of those surveyed visited Tempe Center for the Arts at least once since it opened"
I suspect most of the people who attend events at the Tempe Center for the Arts would love to have other people pay for their artsy entertainment, just like drunks in a bar would love to have the taxpayers pay for their booze.
I suspect the survey was intentionally rigged to get the the city of Tempe to increase taxes for the Tempe Center for the Arts
Survey: Permanent sales tax for Tempe Center for the Arts is OK
by Matthew Casey - Jul. 23, 2012 11:46 AM
The Republic | azcentral.com
The majority of Tempe residents interviewed in a survey conducted by the Phoenix-based Behavior Research Center support making permanent the sales tax that funds the Tempe Center for the Arts.
Don Fassinger, general manager for TCA, said the survey indicates that the public is willing to support the arts in some fashion. Conducting the survey was important as the center approached its five-year anniversary, he said.
"It made sense in terms of the business plan," Fassinger said. "We're very pleased with the outcome."
The TCA cost $76 million to build and it opened in 2007. It is funded by a voter-approved 0.1 percent city sales tax that expires in 2020.
Other findings from the survey include:
Half of respondents reject eliminating the tax if doing so means Tempe groups would have to pay more to use TCA.
Two-thirds of those surveyed oppose elimination of the tax if Tempe groups are forced to reduce or eliminate use of TCA due to increased costs.
Participants favor offering alternative choices in performances rather than limiting them to Tempe-based arts groups.
Less than 25 percent of those surveyed were aware of the sales tax funding the TCA.
Almost half of those surveyed visited Tempe Center for the Arts at least once since it opened.
TCA visitors rated the quality of events, the quality of the facility and the overall experience positively. Almost all TCA visitors would recommend it to others.
Ken Jones,Tempe's finance director, said that based on sales-tax projections, the TCA would face a fund-balance deficit in 2013-14 of $506,000. This could be made up by transferring money from the general fund, he said.
Jones said that if the economy continues to improve, the TCA would begin operating in the black again in 2017-18, building a surplus that would be used to pay back the general fund. The surplus then is expected to grow until the tax expires in 2020, he said. [Yea, sure! Almost all the professions sports stadiums built in America and paid for by the taxpayers have made that claim and they all continue suck the tit of the taxpayers]
Jones said if the tax is not renewed, the TCA is projected face a $2.6 million shortfall in 2021-22. Projections for 2020, the last year of the tax, are $8 million surplus, he said.
Therefore, if projections hold or improve, Jones said, the tax could be "severely reduced" and still cover the 2021-2022 projected shortfall.
Mel Kessler and Gail Fisher, members of the Friends of the Tempe Center for the Arts, said the survey confirms the value of TCA's role in the community and it is crucial that their group continue to work to create additional revenue for the center.
"I think it was extremely important for the city and art-center management to understand how the residents of Tempe see the center and what goes on there," Kessler said.
"Our citizens soundly support the center," Fisher said. "But the other message is the center is yet to achieve its potential."
Kessler and Fisher were part of the group that created the ballot initiative for the sales tax in 1999 and lobbied to get it passed. They became members of the Friends of the TCA when it was founded in 2006.
Kessler said the group, which raises money to support the center, is considering requesting city approval to explore selling naming rights at the TCA to create revenue.
"I watched this go from a bullet point to a full-blown building," Fisher said. "Its amazing to have been a part of this and to know it still has a ways to go."
Fisher said the Friends, which also operates the gift store, TCArt Shop, is trying to expand TCA programming, per study findings.
"From our perspective, the variety of types of programming that goes on needs to be enhanced and expanded," Kessler said.
The survey's results were based on 600 interviews and had a sampling error of 4.1 percent. The survey cost $15,723 and was funded through the city's capital-improvement project budget. It was conducted in December and released in June.
Fassinger said TCA would distribute a similar survey in the future to follow up and ensure that the community is engaged positively.
Reporter Dianna M. Náñez contributed to this story.
Tempe Center for the Arts
Tempe Cesspool for the Arts