Facade Grants to WHO?

By:  Diane Benjamin

Continuation of:



I don’t know why Fuller Facade Grants are included on the TIF report.  Usually they are on Bills and Payroll.  The grants are named after Harriett Fuller, but paid for in the budget.  See more information about these grants here:  http://www.cityblm.org/home/showdocument?id=4101

These grants are just another way to funnel money to people the City deems worthy.  The link above says the City budgets $100,000 a year for grants.

According to the TIF report, the City handed out $187,712.  Instead of using the budget, the City must have diverted TIF money:


I filed a FOIA request for details on who got that money.  

The City can’t tell me who received the $187,712!

(click to enlarge)

The Downtown TIF and the Market Square TIF on the west side, after an audit, found $4,000,000 the City didn’t account for properly.  Remember that news story?

2009 Pantagraph –


This Pantagraph story, also from 2009, shows more failed strategies for downtown, including the Downtown Business Association.  It has some interesting comments about the City’s failure to mange the TIF.

2009 Pantagraph – http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/with-tif-set-to-expire-bloomington-seeks-new-ways-to/article_267a7c90-c0fc-11de-b339-001cc4c03286.html

I do know other people received interest free loans for downtown development, tracking down who and when is a problem.  They were not included in the TIF report.

The last downtown TIF proves local government isn’t capable of economic development. Downtown property owners aren’t willing to invest their own money without being subsidized.  Taxpayers get the bill.

The City now has even more TIF Districts.  Expect similar results.  Backroom deals will be made with developers to keep property taxes low by not reflecting the investments made in the TIF.  Worse, TIF’s usurp the private investors ability to invest because they can’t compete against subsidized investors.  More than 20 years of a downtown TIF didn’t result in a prosperous downtown.  The Downtown Business Association failed.  The Council is solely focused on downtown at the expense of the rest of the City.  How many more decades is it going to take to reach Utopia?

PDF Page 78 of the 4/30/2017 Financial Statement show two new TIF’s had negative balances:     http://www.cityblm.org/home/showdocument?id=15344

Since releasing timely information isn’t the City’s agenda, it will be a year before you know if these are still negative as of April 30, 2018.

The Mayor will continue to proclaim the Empire TIF an amazing success.  New subsidized businesses don’t mean anything if taxpayers are footing the bill.











11 thoughts on “Facade Grants to WHO?

  1. Didn’t the city also give TIF money for the new Leman Toyota dealership on Morrissey? I never understood how that was warranted.


      1. Ok. Yes a tax rebate. But why a tax rebate? They already owned the land and to keep the Toyota dealership they had to make the facade updates Toyota was requiring. I thought I read that the city gave them the rebate to keep them building the dealership here. However since Leman already owned the land and has many other local dealerships what would be their incentive to move? I think it just raised everyone else’s taxes.


  2. Downtown! That IS a dead hoarse and WILL be until some genius (not a consultant) comes up with a brilliant ideal to revitalize the area-PERIOD! This area was MY paper route for 4 years in the early 70’s and even THEN, the “regional planning commission” had BRIGHT ideals-like making all the streets one way! DID NOT WORK!
    ONLY way you will get people to come DOWNTOWN (I LIKE SAYING THAT!) will be keeping the stores OPEN late, having a variety of shopping , FREE parking, and some kind of ” attraction” to get people there! PERIOD! Nothing more, nothing less.
    Even if it’s a $100 give away to any store, etc. Even the students would patronize the DOWNTOWN (thanks to Nancy) stores!
    As for a TIF. that’s a gimme to the folks who ALREADY have it, except for ole Fred who DOES believe in DOWNTOWN! At LEAST he puts his money WHERE he believes in it! Kudos Fred!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Diane – It’s truly amazing how much money is wasted on the Downtown. How many programs, taxpayer dollars, and man-hours have been wasted in a futile effort to polish the turd that is Downtown? We must be able to come up with an aggregate figure of known funds and resources allocated. Might make for good theater at an upcoming City Council meeting. Just saying. Anyway, the City tries the same things over-and-over again and expects a different result. Perhaps worse still, they’re diverting attention away from the obvious downsizing and decline of State Farm, which will hurt us all.


  4. Are you suggesting grants be given indiscriminately? We would be subsidizing adult book stores, payday loan, auto pawns, massage parlors?
    Concerning government, BLOOMINGTON specially, incompetence in nearly all financial matters? Likely correct, educated dereliction being directed by Comrade Renner is nightmare come to life.

    Sent from my iPhone


  5. We’re paying higher taxes and fees (merely a tax in disguise) to fund those grants for the 1%, by which I mean the 1% who have a financial stake and/or love Downtown Bloomington. We, the 99%, that wisely don’t believe that Downtown is the center of commerce and life in Bloomington are forced to fund these government-dependants.


  6. I wonder how many, if any, of these people ever think of themselves as welfare recipients? Because, that’s exactly what they are. These pathetic little art galleries especially that exist from grants and other funding provided by public sources.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s