Sunday, January 18, 2009

Freedom Center Again Reports Bloated Executive Salaries

Lays off 17 in December

In November, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center released its 2007 federal income tax return showing that its top two executives earned salary and benefits of more than $546,842 in 2007. Less than a month later, the NURFC, facing a 28% budget shortfall, laid off 17 of its 64 full-time employees. Read the Business Courier story of the layoffs here.

According to the tax return, its CEO Donald Murphy earned $282,720 in salary and benefits in 2007, an increase of 4% over his $272,000 package in 2006. Its President, Spencer Crew, who left the employ of the NURFC in 2007, raked in $264,122. You may view the NURFC 2007 income tax return here.

COAST reported here that, according to those same tax returns, attendance revenue for all of 2007 was only $735,125. The Business Courier reports that the NURFC’s 2009 operating budget is $5.8 million.


  1. See ya all, this is why I vote every single year to spend more tax dollars on this place. Since few regular people have any interest in attending, we must keep sending your tax dollars there so they can afford to pay their executives such high salaries. Proud to be of service,


  2. One sure sign of a sick organization is when expenses exceed income. Another unhealthy sign is excessive executive compensation.

    But what would you say to an organization whose executive compensation alone exceeds earned revenues?

    Gate receipts for the reporting period were about $750,000. Total executive compensation for the same period was about $850,000.

    The NURFC is in the hole from the word "Go". Add in staff pay, utilities, maintenance, and everything else, and there's no way this place can possibly sustain itself, on or off the public dole.

    The only decent thing to do is pull the plug on taxpayer life support and end the suffering. Let the NURFC die with dignity and rest in peace.

  3. This explains why we need to keep spending taxpayer dollars here. If paid visitors can't pay the bills, then the government should step in and pay the bills themselves. I'm proud of my campaign contributions from John Pepper and my votes to keep spending taxpayer dollars on The Freedom Center.


We follow the "living room" rule. Exhibit the same courtesy you would show guests in your home.