By: Diane Benjamin
TIF districts are like Greek to most citizens. If you don’t understand them, government will continue to redistribute money and call it Economic Development.
TIF’s made easy: Government sets a Tax Increment Finance area. All government bodies in the area have to agree to forgo tax increases due to increasing property values. Government then invests in that area hoping to spur development so they can recover their costs in the future. They can hand money to anybody they deem worthy and leave out anybody they don’t.
The picture below is from PDF page 3 of the 2015 filing with the Comptroller’s office of the last downtown TIF district. ftp://ftp.illinoiscomptroller.com/LocGovTIF/FY2015/06402530/15TIF06402530Dwtwn_Cendistrict.pdf
It shows the value of real estate in the TIF area was increased $15,369,595. It also shows $23,500,000 was transferred into the TIF to accomplish that.
Now look at this pic from PDF page 10:
This is also a “totals” recap of the TIF
This shows the PUBLIC Investment was only $4,633,141 – not $23,500,000.
It also shows PRIVATE investment of almost $18 Million, but property tax revenue only increased a little over $15 Million.
Even more interesting is who got Public Money. Ever wonder why there is a short parade of downtown property owners speaking at Council supporting even more investment? See page 10, that’s a story I will do another day.
Yesterday anonymous Editorial writer at the Pantagraph loved the idea of tearing down a parking garage, moving the library, and adding a bus transfer point.
Look at the above. $23,500,000 invested by the City of Bloomington, it looks like another $4,633,142 paid out of which $527,204 was used for a water main project, $58,408 for street scrape and another $58,048 for sidewalks.
Did any of this spending revitalize downtown? Did the Coliseum? Did the BCPA?
Bloomington has already spent their $100,000,000 downtown with little to show for it except subsidized entertainment. They always forget to add interest into the cost estimates.
Pantagraph: Foot traffic in a new location doesn’t mean anybody is going to spend money downtown. People aren’t taking the bus because they are flush with cash. Ditto the library they want to turn into a social and fun club for free entertainment.
The idea of destroying a parking garage and not just building a new one in the same spot is the definition of someone needing mental health services. Hey, let’s spend far more to move the library – it’s going to be great!
The Coliseum was sold to taxpayers as never costing them a dime. Ha Ha Ha.
Moving the library is a loony idea produced by Renner’s loony hand-picked task force. They show no imagination or vision.
Tonight the library will be requesting a tax increase. It’s tiny, no big deal except that everybody is getting their tiny share. If your assessed value increased this year, even if the council smiles while declaring they aren’t raising the rate – your taxes are going up!
The Library Board claims they don’t want to move. They have already spent a lot of time and money with architects to add-on where they are.
Tari’s downtown Task Force is slapping you in the face by saying it doesn’t matter what they have spent. It’s just cash, no big deal. So what if it’s wasted, we do that all the time.
Besides moving the library, don’t forget the signage committee will want to spend $100,000’s of thousands on signs.
Elections matter, too bad most of the people paying for this nonsense stayed home last April.