The Uptown fleece

By:  Diane Benjamin

Uptown’s 3/31/2015 TIF report:  Uptown TIF

This TIF was started in 2003 – remember who started it:  A guy who owns a bike shop.

Click on any of the pics below to enlarge them.

Start with page 3:


  • The beginning balance was zero.  That means every dime generated in 2014 was spent.  Most likely the income generated in 2014 didn’t cover the expenses.
  • Since 2003, this TIF has only generated $7,192,512.
  • From 4/1/2014 – 3/31/2015 only $1,436,575 was received, all but $44 was spent.  $881,096 went to Bond Payments, $456,162 for Interest. (Pages 4-5)
  • Taxpayers are still on the hook for $56,565,724

Now see page 6:

devCrony capitalism is alive and well in Normal – the chosen are given money because government wants them.  Of course developers show up for free money!  This is only ONE year.

From page 10:

halfPrivate investment was almost $97 Million, but it cost taxpayers more than $56 Million.

Where was the Public money spent?  (Pages 10-11)

  • Children’s Discovery Museum – 9 ,164,203
  • Hotel & Parking – $28,233,536
  • College Ave Parking Deck – $16,592,715
  • Heartland Bank – $1,130,096
  • Steinbach Inc – $395,063
  • Hafner – $392,868
  • JRH MRH – $522,980

Now see page 12:

eavEqualized Assessed Valuation more than doubled.  Unit 5, the County, and other taxing entities didn’t get a dime of the increase.

Jump to page 70:

genIf the TIF hasn’t provided the money for bond payments – they will be paid from the general fund.  This page and the previous also state that $1,000,000 is levied in property taxes for Interest.

Page 51 has the minutes of the annual 2014 TIF Board minutes.  See this statement:


Taxpayers in Normal get to pay a guy to manage Uptown:

mgrTulley’s job is to create ways to get people to Uptown and spend money.  If nobody comes the bonds can’t be paid unless more taxes are levied against residents.

The report for the year ended 3/31/2016 won’t be available for months.

Meanwhile the Normal City Council marches on with new projects.  It’s about control.  Chris Koos doesn’t believe America thrives when capitalism flourishes.  He has killed it in Uptown and put up the citizens as collateral.





4 thoughts on “The Uptown fleece

  1. Great report as always Diane and free of the usual commentary for the most part.



    Sent from my iPhone



  2. Just ANOTHER reason that BLOOMINGTON SHOULD NOT share tax funds with UPTOWN! Uptown is NOT parking-user friendly and with all the students it’s WAY too congested, and they just made the bottleneck worse closing off beaufort @ Linden. I quit shopping there and don’t miss it a bit. I WLL ride to the record shops with friends, and that’s IT! TIF’s are a joke, and just a cronies way of hiding money from the people. REMEMBER Mitsubishi WAS a TIFF, how’s that working-silence on the prairie. Besides TIF’s are NOT true capitalism.


  3. The director of the DBA is paid to recruit people to spend in downtown Bloomington.
    It’s been all over the news about how the Unit 5 schools are financially strapped. Thank the Town Council and Koos for extensive use of TIFs. Is Uptown more important than a solvent school system for attracting new business and new citizens? Look no further than the Chicago public school system for the answer.


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