More STRETCHES of the truth

By:  Diane Benjamin

At the Monday Bloomington City Council meeting the City will claim that property taxes are not being raised.  The two charts below show the library wanting a $0.03 increase and the City recommending a $1.02 decrease.  (   PDF pages 171 and 182)

Both charts show magic!  The library shows the Old Bill and the New Bill will be the same even with the .03 increase!  The City chart shows you will save a dollar!  WOW  celebrate!




Trick or Treat!  A little late for Halloween.

Start with the library. If your bill was $138 last year and your home was valued at $165,000 – this year your home won’t be valued at $165,000! It will have been re-assessed. Your home could have increased in value anywhere from 2%-80%, yes I’ve heard of a few going up that much! Your $138 library bill will be higher just because somebody thinks your house is now worth more than last year.  The library documentation also has lots of fun facts, like they are so much lower than surrounding communities and they add tons of value for citizens!  They return 483% value.  See PDF page 173.  Squashing the private sector using tax dollars is a winning strategy!

I don’t know what game the City is playing with their chart, but the only numbers that matter are the highlighted ones (they highlighted, not me).  The same theory applies as I showed with the library.  When the value of your home is arbitrarily increased, you will be paying more for every one of your taxing districts.  You will not be seeing a decrease unless you protested your assessment and won.

Library circulation continues to decrease.

PDF page 43 from October 2015 City Manager’s report:

lib1The chart clear shows items checked out declining for three years in a row.

Since David Hales no longer does the traditional City Manager reports, what is reported has been modified.  Comparisons to previous years aren’t available, but this is what was reported in Hales’ September 2016 report:

lib2Items circulated continue to decline. 109,079 to 104,656 in one year.

The decline isn’t a problem, they hired a full-time person to reach out to the community. Turning around the multi-year decline is imminent!

I can’t wait for the claims of fiscal responsibility in not raising taxes to appear Monday night.  Count the times “real estate taxes are not being raised” is said.







  1. What does the city’s portion of the property tax provide? Sewer, water, solid waste are paid with fees. MFT pays for streets/infrastructure. Public transportation is supported from local sales tax.


    • pensions, benefits, and salaries – and don’t forget consultants


      • Utility taxes were raised/added in 2013 for Police/Fire Pensions. Let’s address the Cadillac Health coverage and the IMRF pension spiking if there is to be fiscal responsibility. Imagine how much lower the property tax could be then! Perhaps there wouldn’t need to be fees for basic services that only the municipal government can provide.


  2. Elizabeth Gruber says:

    Two of my properties were assessed at about 20% more than the previous assessment. I appealed both a year ago, got a change and now back to original amount that I protested. The third property a vacant lot was denied and assessed at about twice what I paid for it 2 years ago (still a vacant lot). A way to raise taxes without you having a say in it. Start taking a hard look at who you are voting for and who they appoint.


  3. Must be that “new math” at work they taught us YEARS ago?? An INCREASE is an INCREASE, no matter HOW ya juggle the numbers. Does the mayor/council THINK we’re that stupid or are THEY?


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