Is Normal hiding TIF data?

By:  Diane Benjamin

I’m always suspicious when an article appears in the paper praising something when the data to back up the claims is unavailable.

It happened again October 26th with this story in the Pantagraph:  Normal TIF Districts Paying Dividends

One has to wonder where the story came from.  Did somebody at the Town call in reporter Derek Beigh and spoon feed him a story?  Since the Pantagraph doesn’t do investigations, it’s hard to believe it was the reporters idea to write a glowing report of TIF’s.

TIF stands for Tax Increment Financing.  TIF’s take money from other taxing bodies to create a slush fund that can provide money for whatever project the Administrator chooses to fund.

The Town of Normal is required to report TIF data to the Comptroller’s office.  Normal’s year-end was March 30, 2017.  It’s ridiculous that financial information isn’t available for at least 6 months after a year-end, but it’s even more ridiculous that Normal HAS NOT submitted TIF data to the Comptroller:

Source: Normal TIF Reports

Normal has not submitted the TIF reports.

These reports are past due and now subject to fines.

If the reports are so glowing, why is Normal hiding them?

The Pantagraph needs to start asking for proof before they write stories.  Since they obviously didn’t with this story, can you trust any of their stories?





8 thoughts on “Is Normal hiding TIF data?

  1. The reports are not glowing..Normal is in trouble…it is just the beginning of what is to come. They have bet the farm on things staying the same and of course things are not staying the same. The enrollment decline at ISU has begun, sales tax revenue continues to decline while our pretend auto maker pretends that it is going to make cars. I bet it is time to raise taxes!


  2. The conventional rationale for TIF is that schools, counties and special districts would not lose any property tax revenue. They continue to receive property taxes based on the assessed values of properties within their domains in the year before redevelopment. In time, a pot of gold awaits the other taxing entities at the end of the redevelopment rainbow when all agency debts are repaid. At that point, the other taxing entities start to receive the tax increment bonanza that redevelopment made possible.

    These rationales are seriously flawed. First, they disregard the ex-ante risk-reward imbalance that cities sponsoring redevelopment impose on other taxing entities. Second, they presume that but for redevelopment there would have been no growth within designated redevelopment project areas. Third, redevelopment projects seldom create new demand. They simply shift demand from other areas into redevelopment project areas. The larger the boundary of the other taxing entity, the more likely it will be a net loser of property, sales or hotel transit occupancy taxes due to redevelopment “cannibalization.” Fourth, nothing prevents cities from using TIF to subsidize the sorts of local “public goods” like parks, libraries, street and sidewalk improvements that were traditionally financed from local general funds, general obligation bonds, or special assessments. Fifth, TIF encourages RDAs to subsidize projects that will yield higher property taxes such as high rise, glass curtain wall condos or greater sales tax proceeds such as auto malls and regional shopping centers, even at the cost of displacing lower and working class populations…..



    1. Hey… let’s build some stuff.. fix up some old run down “historic buildings” and put it all on a big credit card with the name “The City Taxpayer” on it. Yes we need a hotel next to the Gross Center – two money losers are better than just one.


  3. WHAT Lawrence? You sound like a “non believer” Well, what with the Koos/Renner machines doing TIFS like Beichs handing out candy @ a parade, and that BIG new hotel in UPTOWN, and the RT66 gas station becoming a “tourist destination” and Portillos drawing them here, why, we’ll be ROLLING in DOUGH..
    Don’t ya think??


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