Normal’s TIF debt

By:  Diane Benjamin

As Bloomington decides to blanket the City with TIF Districts, let’s look at the Town of Normal.  They have FIVE!

First a little review.  TIF’s create money for the City without any over-site.  The City Council will never be asked where to spend this money – it’s comes from keeping taxes generated in the District instead of sharing it with schools, the county, etc as would normally happen.  Most of the time cities issue bonds to fund developers, then hope the tax increases will pay them off.  If it doesn’t, taxpayers have to make up the difference.

The only way citizens know where the money was spent or how much was generated is to look at the reports filed with the State of Illinois.

Divert to Chicago for a minute.  The Better Government Association found former Mayor Daley built luxury apartments and handed out vouchers so low-income residents could live in his masterpiece:

Back to Normal.  Here’s the list of TIF districts and links to the reports:

Deficits are created by bond debt and other payments promised to developers.

Normal TIFSMain/I-55 started in 2008 and shows a deficit of $8,550,000 with NO income.

Main/Osage started in 2008.  Revenues have been a total of $448,544.  It also shows a DEFICIT of  ($31,214,015).  With TIF income of $199,656 in 2015, that balance is going to be around a long time.

North Normal Warehouse was started in 2013.  For 2015, NO revenue was received, but the report shows a deficit of (9,457,138)

One Normal Plaza was started in 2009.  2015 shows  TOTAL income to date of $70,057.  It also shows a deficit of ($5,232,795)

So far the TOTAL TIF Deficit is $54,453,948!

Obviously I skipped the Downtown Redevelopment TIF (Uptown)

Uptown was started in 2003.  TOTAL TIF Income to date shows:  $7,192,512.  All the building and improvements have only generated $7 million since 2003.

The 2015 TIF report also shows a deficit of ($56,565,724)

Add that to the deficit shown in the other 4 TIF districts for a Grand Total of:


The same report shows the population of Normal as 54,594.

Only $2,034 per person!

Chris Koos had a vision and he used TIF’s to bury the citizens in debt.

See why California banned TIF’s?

Coming to Bloomington soon!







  1. TIF’s ONLY work when a “well funded” developer comes in and builds EVERYTHING with his OWN money, and ASKS for a break, which I can then see being allowed-as the investor has put ” HIS money where his mouth is” but they should NOT be used for the simple minded and short sightedness of drawing a building to an “empty hole” i.e.: ONE UPTOWN! That does only ONE thing, and that is public DEBT!


  2. If the City has to “buy” redevelopment with taxpayer money, that is not economic development. I wish the leadership would have a better understanding of the affects of TIF districts. They haven’t been successful in the past.
    Didn’t the Town of Normal purchase–and still own–much of the property in Uptown, thereby receiving no property tax revenue to pay down the debt? Aren’t those buildings leased to the businesses?


  3. The fleecing of the taxpayers continues.


  4. One reason they get by with this is that the other taxing bodies agree to it instead of fighting the city. I am of the opinion it hurts the other taxing bodies more than it helps them.

    I remember being on a school board and fighting the city over a TIF. This went on for a few years and we got victory over the city after the court ruled in our favor. No kidding it cost the school district a lot a money to fight it with hired lawyers from Chicago. To this day I still feel we were on the right side to fight it.

    I thought originally TIF’s had a term limit and the state legislature changed that and they can be extended for an indefinite number of years. Another reason why I am against them.

    The same city we fought had one or two other TIF’s and we were forever after the city for the revenue reports to make sure we got our share. Then it seemed like they always wanted to re-negotiate the terms. An administrative nightmare.


  5. DEBRA JEAKINS says:

    Reason number one why I got OUT of BLONO!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

. .

wordpress stats plugin
%d bloggers like this: