Barter should have to earn subsidies

To the Editor,

I finally got some real clear information on the Barter deal from that recent letter to editor (A better ‘barter’ for taxpayers, Mount Airy News, Aug. 28). Now I understand what’s going on.

The city is trying to sell a one-sided deal to citizens on Barter. They say an investor will build the theater but only if city pays her $580 thousand a year lease so Barter can use it. Projections say that much will come back to city from new taxes from all the new things. But what if the predictions are wrong, and they are more often than not?

The letter said we need to add words that the city will pay the lease in total if the city gets that much in new taxes. If not the city only pays what it gets in, so it doesn’t lose money. That just sounds like good business and common sense, so I’m all for it.

Barter wants hundreds of thousands from city each year for a “subsidy.” Why can’t they cover their own expenses since they’ll be using the theater for free? The city plan only makes Barter put on some number of plays to get the subsidy, but what good is that if not many people come ? We need good ticket sales to bring in bunches of tourists so this whole Spencer thing might work.

Back to the letter in the paper that said to add words to have Barter judged by tickets sold; not just by how many plays are put on. Barter will need to earn the subsidy and not just have it handed out. Again that’s good business and common sense and I’m for that, too.

Tom Snow

Mount Airy

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