If Springfield Spends $40 Million, Springfield Will Surely Spend $40 Million

A consultant says that Springfield can turn $40 million tax dollars into a cool $1 billion:

A consultant’s report estimates that a $90 million investment in the Springfield Expo Center and adjoining facilities could increase local spending over the next 25 years by more than $1 billion.

Chicago-based consultant Rob Hunden, who will present the financial impact analysis to city staff and others Thursday, estimates that public money would need to cover about $40 million of the development costs. But the taxpayers’ investment would be paid back with increased tax revenue within 25 years.

“The groups that get the tax money aren’t necessarily the groups that would invest the tax money,” Hunden said, cautioning that the estimate includes revenue to all the taxing jurisdictions in Greene County.

So, while the city would not recoup the entire $40 million investment directly, Hunden expects the combined tax revenue of the city, county, local school districts and others to increase by about $43 million overall.

Spending $40 million dollars to develop a convention center when the convention industry is in steep decline and conventioneers, those that remain, will find the opportunity to get bargain rates in larger cities as they struggle to populate their tax-funded convention centers.

I’m not sure Bernie Madoff promised this sort of return to his investors. In the 21st century, people are quite right to think that “con man” is short for “consultant man.”