Normal Il – What is Up With the Debt?

by Diane Benjamin

The Normal Mayor and City Council decided the outlined area in the picture below was blighted and needed to be redeveloped.

They filed a plan and deemed this area a Tax Increment Financing site (TIF).  They have purchased A LOT of properties and gave some away.  More on that below.  Click on the picture to see the entire area.

They plan on using the TIF funds to pay for the project.  This means that increases in real estate taxes, due to the redevelopment of the properties, will be kept by the Town instead of being distributed normally.  Are they raising other taxes to pay for it too?

From the Town of Normal website:  Why is the history listed for Water and Sewer, but not for other taxes?

http://www.normal.org/index.aspx?NID=129

Current Sales Tax Rate within Town Corporate Limits

  • Illinois 5.00%
  • Municipality 1.00% (the amount of state tax returned to the town)
  • Local 1.50%
  • County 0.25% (the amount of state tax returned to the county)
  • Total: 7.75%

Town Water Rates

  • February 1, 1993 – $2.05 per 1,000 gal
  • February 1, 1996 – $2.25 per 1,000 gal
  • February 1, 1999 – $2.48 per 1,000 gal
  • February 1, 2002 – $3.00 per 1,000 gal
  • February 1, 2003 – $3.09 per 1,000 gal
  • February 1, 2004 – $3.40 per 1,000 gal
  • February 1, 2006 – $3.60 per 1,000 gal, plus $2.50 per month System Maintenance Fee
  • February 1, 2008 – $3.96 per 1,000 gal, plus $2.50 per month System Maintenance Fee
  • October 1, 2009 – $4.95 per 1,000 gal, plus $3.75 per month System Maintenance Fee
  • February 1, 2010 – $5.10 per 1,000 gal, plus $4.05 per month System Maintenance Fee
  • February 1, 2011 – $5.40 per 1,000 gal, plus $4.55 per month System Maintenance Fee


Town Sewer Rates

  • February 1, 1993 – $ .64 per 1,000 gal
  • February 1, 1996 – $ .70 per 1,000 gal
  • February 1, 2001 – $ .77 per 1,000 gal
  • February 1, 2003 – $ .89 per 1,000 gal
  • February 1, 2005 – $ .98 per 1,000 gal
  • February 1, 2007 – $1.08 per 1,000 gal
  • February 1, 2008 – $1.08 per 1,000 gal
  • February 1, 2010 – $1.19 per 1,000 gal, plus $1.50 per month System Maintenance Fee
  • February 1, 2011 – $1.19 per 1,000 gal, plus $2.50 per month System Maintenance Fee

Bloomington-Normal Water Reclamation District Rates (BNWRD)

  • October 1, 2009 – $6.04 for first 4,000 gallons, plus $1.51 per 1,000 gal thereafter ($6.04 min)

Storm Water Rates

  • October 1, 2009 – $4.60 per month per ERU (Equivalent Residential Unit = 3,200 sq. ft. impervious area)

Garbage Collection Rates

  • February 1, 2011 – $10 per month

Here’s the missing Sales Tax History:

1996-1997 Local Sales tax increased from .75 to 1.0

2001-2002 Local Tax increased from 1.0 to 1.25

January 2003 2% Food and Beverage tax added

2010-2011 Local Sales Tax increased from 1.25 to 1.5

This means that Normal is getting 1% Municipality Tax and 1.5% Sales tax

Here’s the Tax History:  (Click to enlarge)


How about Real Estate Taxes?

Rates have increase slightly, but more interesting is what has happened to Farm Property.

Obviously, developing farm land into Residential or Commercial property produces more Real Estate Tax.

Note: Meijer’s and The Marriott Hotel didn’t exist in 2001.

The tax rate didn’t have to rise much since the Assessed Value increased almost 63%.

Property given away:

4 properties were given to Habitat for Humanity.

Note: Wayne Aldrich, the Uptown Development Director was/is closely associated with Habitat for Humanity

These 4 properties were purchased for $279,500:

701 S Fell

303 and 305 W Vernon Ave

304 W Vernon Ave

While I firmly believe Habitat for Humanity does great work, I question taxpayer money used this way.

A local house flipper couldn’t have been found to restore these houses so taxpayers weren’t out the entire amount?

Is this the role of government?

Other properties were also “Given” away.  More on them soon.

What does all this mean?

1)  I think we can expect more farm land to disappear in Normal.

2) A lot more work needs to be done-this is a complex project.

3) If you live in this area, did you feel blighted?

One current council member told me the revenues are in place to pay the debt, in fact they are paying more than required.  So far it appears the TIF money combined with tax increases on all levels may be contributing as well.

All information was obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, Town of Normal CAFR, TIF documents filed with the Comptroller’s Office, and the Town of Normal website.

Comments Please!

Advertisements

Comments

  1. People have no idea where their money is going…

    Like

  2. Great article Diane. This is going to happen to Bloomington residents if they don’t wake up to what is happening in Normal. It is happening I should say. Way past time to wake up!

    Like

  3. Maricruz says:

    Quite interesting, looking forth to returning.

    Like

Trackbacks

  1. […] The numbers for past history were copied for Normal’s website in this story:  https://blnnews.com/2012/05/30/normal-il-what-is-up-with-the-debt/ […]

    Like

  2. […] The Town of Normal used to have their tax history on their website, they no longer do.  Luckily I copied it back in 2012:  https://blnnews.com/2012/05/30/normal-il-what-is-up-with-the-debt/ […]

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

. .

wordpress stats plugin
%d bloggers like this: