By: Diane Benjamin
The City of Bloomington is asking interested parties to register for the Empire Street Corridor TIF. http://www.cityblm.org//index.aspx?page=18&recordid=2743
The covered area is MUCH bigger than Colonial Plaza. It goes from Veterans to Colton Ave – the road west of Bloomington High School. The total is 201 acres. You can read how far north and south the proposed TIF will be at the link above.
A Tax Increment Finance district means the City profits from increased property values when improvements or building takes place, other units of government, like schools, won’t until the TIF is over.
The City will use the TIF profits as it sees fit in the TIF district, enter the friends of government developers! Developers and businesses who take TIF money have an unfair advantage over businesses who have or are paying their own costs. Friends get subsidized because government chooses them to benefit.
Since the City has made it clear they don’t want “blue-collar” industries, the City will also limit what type of development takes place. They will only be looking for “high-tech” employers.
Bloomington-Normal has a LOT to offer businesses, too bad we’re still in Illinois. High taxes and regulations scare many off. With all the recent Renner tax increases, Bloomington lacks a history of low taxes. January 1st the citizens get hit again with increased Sales Taxes. Businesses don’t locate in a high tax city because of amenities. If profits are hurt paying for them, they will locate elsewhere. Why did Wirtz Beverage build in Lexington? Anybody ask?
Bribery is the best weapon available for economic development since cutting taxes and spending is never on the agenda. It worked with Mitsubishi, at least for 30 years. Now, not so much. The original argument Renner used for the TIF was to help redevelop Colonial Plaza. He didn’t want an empty shopping center on Veterans Parkway.
Why the much bigger TIF Tari? Can’t let a good crisis go to waste?