Normal: How do they justify property tax increases? – Update

Here’s the short version:

The Town of Normal bought a whole bunch of properties.  They paid way more than the assessed value or appraised value, if they bothered with an appraisal.

Because these now “Town held” properties, which generate NO property taxes, were so expensive, the Assessor assumed all properties were worth a lot more.

The new value was applied to all other Uptown properties to generate more property taxes, which goes into the TIF fund.  Mayor Koos controls the TIF money.

Maybe next we need to take a look at where the TIF money was spent.  Hopefully on the debt.


by:  Diane Benjamin

See previous post:

Properties in “Uptown” Normal suddenly double or more in value overnight?  At least, according to the Assessor’s Office, that’s what happened.  The values didn’t gradually increase as the surrounding properties were redeveloped.  They jumped up in value in one year.

“Uptown” is a TIF district which means the increase in property taxes, because of the higher assessments, ALL goes to the City.  Unit 5 and all the other government agencies listed on Normal Property Tax bills get nothing.  The City is using all this money to help pay for the redevelopment.

How do they justify the new assessment?  Your house is valued by what houses similar to yours sell for.  Actually, in good years the value just gets raised a little and the assessor hopes you won’t complain.

Last July, I reported on the properties the Town of Normal had purchased:  It’s a pretty big list.  The prices paid are listed, but did the citizens of Normal get a fair deal?  After all, the money used by the Town of Normal is YOUR tax dollars.  Did they spend your money responsibly?

You decide.  A .pdf and picture of the purchases are below.  Almost all the properties are questionable, but look at the highlighted ones.  The purchase price was frequently two or three times the assessed value!  Was the assessor totally incompetent?  If he was, the Town of Normal has been missing out on thousand and thousands of dollars every year.

That theory can be discounted when you look at the Appraised Value, if the Town bothered to have an appraisal done.  The Town paid whatever amount of money was needed because Koos wanted the properties for his vision.  The Assessed and Appraised value didn’t impact the purchase price.

This is a .pdf of the picture below:

Normal Property Purchases

Not only was almost $12,000,000 spent on properties, the Town paid almost $5,000,000 more than the assessed value for them.  Appraisals were not even acquired on many of the properties.

Now tie this to the new assessed values for the other “Uptown” property owners.  The Town of Normal over-pays for many of properties, so the Normal Assessor concludes the value of all properties in Uptown must be higher too!

Nice scam, government inflates property values so they can turn “Uptown” into a vision they alone have.  I could not find any property purchases in the TIF district not made by the Town of Normal, unless they were first the purchaser and then the seller.

Still wondering why conservatives want Limited Government?

I did talk to one property owner who wanted to expand his business.  He is not going to do it.  Instead, he is going to make the soon to be empty space next to him (he had been renting it out) look as bad as possible.  Hopefully his taxes will decrease, but he’s not betting on it.

Take another look at the Underwood House-close to the bottom.  This is the house purchased supposedly to expand Underwood Park.  The plans have since changed.  See this previous post:


Are you offended that a house with an assessed value of $480,255 was purchased for $750,000 with your tax dollars?  Are you offended the property wasn’t even appraised?  Are you offended the reason for purchasing the property has now “evolved”.   How about the amount of money they have yet to spend on the house?  Offended yet?

Now it is obvious why Chris Koos refused to attend debates he calls partisan.  He might actually be asked tough questions.

2 thoughts on “Normal: How do they justify property tax increases? – Update

  1. Koos runs Normal and there is not a thing anyone can do about it. Koos will be Mayor until he decides he doesnt want to be Mayor anymore. Get used to it.

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