“Uptown” and Crony Capitalism

by:  Diane Benjamin

The Town of Normal is required to report annually to the State on their TIF districts.  The “Uptown” 2012 TIF report can be found here:

Uptown tif

Basically, creating a TIF district allows the Town to keep the increase in property taxes collected because of redevelopment.

This document is 191 pages long, but some pages are very interesting.  See pages 74-80.

Before Bank of Illinois was taken over in 2010 by the FDIC, the Town had an agreement with them to pay 30% of the interest expense for their new building.  When Heartland purchased the property, this agreement was transferred to them.

Page 80 shows payments made to Bank of Illinois and an amount still owing of $238,191 as of 12/31/09.  Even though the agreement still exists, the report has not been updated since to reflect payments to Heartland Bank.  Page 169 reaffirms the agreement still exists.

Now flip to page 137.  Commerce Bank wanted a temporary modular building to conduct business until their new building was completed.  The Town agreed to pay 1/2 the rent – up to $2875 per month for 1 year, plus 1/2 the cost of removal.

Page 138 – the Town conveyed the land to Commerce Bank for $10.

This is exactly what citizens HATE about government.  It works for the rich and well-connected, not so much for the rest of us.

If you want more good news – see page 8.  This is a recap of the bond debt: $86,690,245.  Sleep well Normal.

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