Cultural subsidies in Toulouse: 1 million euros are missing
The 2021 subsidies from the town hall of Toulouse to cultural players have been cut by nearly one million euros due to the drop in the casino’s contribution linked to the covid crisis.
Cold shower for a series of Toulouse cultural actors. The envelope of 7 million euros in annual subsidies from the municipality has been cut this year by nearly one million. Deputy mayor in charge of culture, Francis Grass acknowledged the existence of “a significant lack of revenue to finance cultural associations” by releasing this amount at the last municipal council on October 22 in response to an intervention by Caroline Honvault , Archipel municipal councilor.
The bad surprise, explains the elected official, is linked to the continuation of the covid crisis after the first wave which notably involved a closure of the casino from October 12, 2020 to May 19, 2021. However, since its creation in 2005, the casino , managed in the form of a concession by the Barrière group, towards each year a “contribution to cultural and tourist activities” which, in 2021, was to be 1.7 million. To support this concessionaire, as it did for the others, the town hall granted it exemptions in proportion to the period of closure. A partial exemption from the fee of 66,667 euros, from the advance made by the town hall for the payment of the property tax and, therefore, from the contribution to culture which amounts this year to only 749,090 euros exactly. Or some 900,000 euros less. A shortfall that was distributed over certain cultural structures.
Case by case
Francis Grass explains that he made “in the lace” to choose the “15 to 20” actors who saw their subsidy drop. That is, taking into account their financial situation. “We have verified that they had the means to absorb” the decline, it was thanks to this municipal council, specifying that “certain structures in very good health” with “economic reserves”. Translation: all the players saw their subsidies maintained in 2020 and received various aids. And some – not all of them – ended up with a jackpot.
The deputy mayor did not want to reveal the names of the structures concerned. According to our information, the list would include the Sorano theater, the Garonne theater, the Grand-Rond theater, Toulouse les Orgues, Les Grands Interprètes, the Place de la danse, the RAVIV performing arts network, etc.
For Caroline Honvault, who generously judges the exemption of the casino management group, “cultural players do not have to pay for the casino’s difficulties”, which amounts “to subsidizing it on their backs”. And she is worried about the future of this method of financing.
Francis Grass, who recalls that 3 million were also questioned as part of a recovery plan, is reassuring: “the objective is to return to a normal situation”.
The elected seeks above all to relativize the decline. Each year, 7 million subsidies are paid by the town hall to 300 structures and 3 million by the Metropolis, in addition to the contribution of the casino. And that “within a city and metropolitan culture budget of 130 million euros, excluding investment. This shows the strength of our cultural offer. If some have accepted the pill, others consider it bitter. And all are worried because the public is not yet back.