By Jon A. Brake
If it looks too good to be true, it is too good to be true. And in this case it is not true.
There times in the past three months the Manhattan City Commission has been given a Community ROI Analysis (Return on City Investment) on the economic impact of the Manhattan Economic Development Opportunity Funds (Sales Tax Money.)
The Manhattan Chamber Economic Development Task Force produced the ROI. The two page analysis computes the City investments, private investments, jobs created, payroll, taxes paid, to get a Total Community Benefit. Many of the assumptions are correct but the finial "Estimated Return on City Investment" of 20.2 percent annually is dead wrong.
The Analysis concluded that $2,049,665 was returned each year on the $10,130,361 investment made with City Sales Tax money. When the Free Press asked members of the Task Force how this could be an annual amount when the money was given out over a 5 or 6 year time? The response was, "A short cut was taken and it did not go year by year and the number (20.2%) should have been around 5% a year."
How can you take a short cut when producing an ROI analysis, which will be used to help sell the voters of Riley County on another 10-year Half Cent Sales Tax?
The Commissioners were given the report again Tuesday nigh without correction.
If "short cuts" were taken with the ROI, were short cuts taken on the
Task Force Final Report?