What’s Normal up to?

By:  Diane Benjamin

Tonight on the agenda for the Normal Town Council is reauthorizing the lease of 104 W North Street to Dan Brady for $1 per year and FREE to Rodney Davis.  This note is included on PDF page 63:  http://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2273


If Normal actually read the law, they might find it is illegal to rent property for less than the going rate – even if it is rented to other government officials. Taxpayers should receive the fair market value from THEIR property.

Maybe the property is only worth $1 per year, but that doesn’t explain the property taxes on it. Obviously the Town of Normal owns the building.  PDF page 74 shows the property PIN Number:

page74That makes it easy to find on the County website under Assessor:

northThe Town of Normal is renting this property for $1 per year, but paying property taxes of $7,206.54!  You can see the tax bill here – YES, they are paying taxes to themselves:


Look at the taxing bodies on the 2015 tax bill below.  It shows $4,966.60 as income to Normal’s Uptown TIF.


The problem is that TIF’s generate income with INCREASING property values.

2001 shows ZERO tax with no owner listed

2002 shows Zero tax with no owner listed

2003 is when the Downtown Redevelopment TIF started.

In 2003 this property has an owner listed with property taxes of $1,934.37.  Tonight’s documentation shows the Town bought it in 2003, the County shows 2006.

From 2007 – 2012 the property was listed as EXEMPT.  Suddenly in 2013 the County shows this property as taxable with taxes of $7074.10.

The second floor is vacant according to the information for tonight, virtually nothing has been done to raise the value of the part being rented for $1 per year.

So why did Normal suddenly decide to make the property taxable and almost quadruple the property tax?

The only reason I can see is to get money for the TIF.  Normal owes millions of dollars for Uptown that is supposedly paid with TIF income.

Totally confused?

The bottom line is Normal is paying property taxes of $7206 a year on a building they earn $1 a year on.

Sounds like a campaign issue.  More investigation is needed.









10 thoughts on “What’s Normal up to?

  1. There are quite a few things going on with all of this in environment that is ripe for a lot of creative accounting. Enough to make any auditor’s head spin.
    1. How does Dan Brady get away with only paying $1 for his office space? What do his records show he’s paying? What’s he doing with the “savings” from his office space?
    2. Normal paid more for this property than what it is worth, as they do with all their real estate transactions, thus spiking the property values of neighboring properties and their tax assessments within the TIF District.
    3. Number 2 results in a larger tax abatement that has to be made up somewhere. Thus, one more reason for a property tax increase for the rest of us.

  2. It would be VERY interesting to see an I.R.S. audit of Dan’s taxes, and WHAT he declares this property at. And WHY does the town of “up” give him a property for $1 that THEY are paying $7074 in taxes on?? Something definitely WRONG here.

  3. Just approved by the Normal Town Council in the omnibus agenda with no discussion at all. Meeting adjourned in record time with Mayor Pro tem Gaines presiding.

  4. It’s interesting this is in the agreement: “Partisan political activity is prohibited on the premises.” I’m assuming this means they don’t want campaigning on the premises, but it would be silly to think that partisan political activities don’t go on in political offices.

    Perhaps they just want someone to occupy the space, pay the insurance, and keep the lights on. However, I’m sure there are a lot of other businesses that would love this type of sweetheart deal.

    1. All the stores they mention moving into the area receives huge subsidies of taxpayer money. If anything does go in there, I expect a 7-figure handout to be the price tag by the city. They set a dangerous precedent in Bloomington-Normal where businesses will require a handout to come here.

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