By: Diane Benjamin
I found this chart in the 2012 Bloomington Budget: http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=2018 Page 114
Since the City of Bloomington can’t print money, expenditures should have been close to revenue. I do remember they got into trouble by dipping into reserves though. I wonder where that “recession” that caused the City to slash jobs was? The early retirements offered by the City were in 2008. (http://www.pantagraph.com/news/bloomington-s-top-officials-to-retire-early/article_9a5cba91-2fef-570a-ad68-e9654819abf8.html) Looks like 2008 had a lot of revenue, think maybe spending got out of control?
In today’s bird-cage liner, little Stevie Vogel is pushing the 1% Sales Tax so Bloomington can close their funding gap. He reports that current General Fund spending is $95 MILLION! The situation is actually worse because solid waste isn’t in the General Fund anymore. I’m not sure when it was taken out and it isn’t important other than you know MILLIONS more are being spent on things outside the General Fund that used to be included.
The chart shows General Fund Revenue in 2012 of around $70+ million. Do that math, the current budget for 2015-2016 is $95 Million. The General Fund is up around $25 MILLION in 4 years!
Sure Stevie, raise the Sales Tax 1%, maybe the City can tack another $10 or $20 MILLION on the General Fund! Can you explain what the citizens received from the last $25 Million? An additional $10 Million was BORROWED for roads. I see more staff in the City Manager’s Office and a Communications person who doesn’t communicate. What else did the additional $25 million achieve? A fountain outside City Hall? Extensive travel and food by City personnel? The citizens got Gas taxes raised, Utility taxes raised, a new Amusement tax, Garbage fees raised – what did they get for those increases Stevie? Are the roads close to drivable yet?
The Pony Fields were built with private money. We aren’t a communist country where government tells us more taxes are needed for the “common good”. Want to know why tax receipts are down in the City of Bloomington? I can give you 25 million+ reasons. When government sucks money from the pockets of citizens, they have less to spend in the free market. It’s pretty easy to see why tax receipts decrease!
It’s been 2 years since a group of concerned citizens made an elaborate presentation at the Double Tree for a sales tax increase to fund a soccer complex. They spent a lot of time and probably money creating a thick book complete with drawings and letters of support. Since that effort failed, what have they done the last 2 years? Time is running out at the airport complex, so how much money have they raised? Anybody? Maybe they have been holding fundraisers without much publicity. Maybe they have been plotting with Chris Koos.
I talked to a couple of intense local soccer supporters a few weeks ago. They DO NOT want the public forced to pay for their complex. They want private money, all they need is leadership.
Twinkle Toes Tari: The pic below is your precious downtown. The weeds and the cracks are extremely attractive, maybe soon the weeds can GROW in the cracks. If you want investment at least take care of what is already there. Quit adding more maintenance down the road that obviously will never be funded. Little Stevie got it right: Your current deferred maintenance is $400 MILLION.
(Tari’s name was suggested by a cherished reader, so I threw it in. I appreciate you!)
Stevie, your transparency is really showing. You are tight with Renner because your daughter ran 2 campaigns for him. Renner idolizes Koos for turning the citizens of Normal into zombies thus allowing him to spend and tax at will. Your group conspiracy to raise taxes is more than visible. If Renner isn’t already toast, this will seal it for him. Expect Renner’s hand-picked budget committee to report they have no other choices in September.