By: Diane Benjamin
Listen to the interview here: http://www.wjbc.com/2015/05/13/renner-tif-could-pay-for-downtown-development/
Tari seems possessed by Ronald Reagan. Lately he has been saying often that TIF’s were suggested by Reagan. Tari, Ronnie also cut taxes and created a boon in job creation and economic development. Reagan also wanted to stop funding for Regional Planning Commissions because they exert control from DC on local communities. How about some more Reagan Tari!
Tari thinks TIF’s will pay for whatever the City wants to do downtown. He is also possessed by controlling what happens downtown. If developers present plans for anything but a hotel, conference center, and a restaurant – Tari will toss them. His downtown, he gets to decide.
The last Downtown TIF was started 12/22/1986 according to reports filed by the City with the Comptroller’s office.
Since very little action has taken place recently with this TIF, I looked at the 2011 report. In the 25 years since it’s inception, property tax increases to the City amounted to a total of $15,369,595. 25 years for a return of $15 Million, not including all the money the City loaned and forgave developers, is a lousy return. Ensenbergers is only marginally better than before since the condos aren’t selling. Where are all those people who want to live downtown? Are you moving to an Ensenberger condo Tari? You could probably control development from there better.
Never fear taxpayers, Tari has repeated over and over that the City (under him) will not make any more bad contracts.
Did previous administrations plan to make bad contracts? Isn’t that what Renner is implying?
Tari mentioned that Uptown is now an engine of economic growth. Why is the Town renting properties for less than $200 per month? There have been 2 properties in recent news claiming that rent. Why are tax receipts going down in Normal – just like Bloomington? If Uptown is such a powerhouse, what’s the problem?
Renner is still mentioning all the employees shed a few years ago – 100. I’ve written often about the actual number of employees. The real number has been creeping back up. How far up is hard to say since every time the employee count is written, it’s a different number. Sometimes it varies by 50-75 people. One thing for sure, the count isn’t down 100.
Renner and the interviewers don’t know the City has abandoned property language in the City code. http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=262 Maybe the City should hold a 1 day class for all employees and read the Code out loud. Managing a City would be so much easier if everybody knew the rules.
Citizens: You have been promised by Tari that General Fund money will not be used to re-develop downtown.
Forget that Markowitz made the same claim about the Coliseum.