By: Diane Benjamin
The address for Babbitt’s Books is 119 E Beaufort St, Normal, IL 61761
I wrote extensively in 2012 on how Normal financed Uptown. A large part was buying properties for way over the assessed value, thus raising the surrounding property values. Existing property owners saw large increases to their tax bills as a result.
I went to Babbitt’s a couple years ago looking for old history books. The owner was sitting by the front door, so I attempted to ask him what he thought of Uptown. He was an out-of-control flaming liberal spouting praises for the project and condemnation for anybody opposed to it. I, of course, walked out.
What happened to taxes on the Babbitt’s building? I had to ask the Assessor’s Office because 119 E Beaufort wasn’t listed. A search for all properties on E Beaufort didn’t show it either.
They provided me with a parcel number of 14-28-436-006. You can look it up here: http://mcleanil.devnetwedge.com/
Keep in mind, the Assessed value is 1/3 of the total value.
To my knowledge, there have been few if any improvements made to this property to justify increases to assessed value. The main change was Uptown. Did taxes put him out of business? A lot of old books would have to be sold to make up an almost $5000 increase per year in property taxes, not to mention all the other taxes and fees Normal has raised.
Assessed Value in 2003 40,208 Tax $2,960.58 Total Value $120,624
Assessed Value in 2007 44,502 Tax $3,320.66
Assessed Value in 2014 94,013 Tax $7,749.88 Total Value $282,039
For comparison, here are some other nearby properties. Some improvements may have been made to them, I don’t go to Uptown often enough to know.
106 E Beaufort (Windy City Wieners-opened in 2009)
Assessed Value in 2003 39,292 Tax $2,893.15 Total Value $117,876
Assessed Value in 2007 43,488 Tax $3,245.00
Assessed Value in 2014 51,633 Tax $4,256.32 Total Value $154,899
112 E Beaufort: (Advanced Electronics?)
Assessed Value in 2003 26,614 Tax $1,959.64 Total Value $79,842
Assessed Value in 2007 29,455 Tax $2197.88
Assessed Value in 2014 48,427 Tax $3992.04 Total Value $145,281
126 E Beaufort: (Maggy Miley’s-opened in 2004)
Assessed Value in 2003 45,251 $3,331.91 Total Value $135,753
Assessed Value in 2007 73,556 $5,488.62
Assessed Value in 2014 147,356 $12,147.14 Total Value $442,068