By: Diane Benjamin
Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts were meant to redevelop blighted areas. They divert all increases in property taxes to the City and then to the developers. The taxes are diverted FROM all other taxing bodies like schools, library, county, township, etc.
Downtown Bloomington had a long term TIF that expired a couple years ago. They have already passed more for specific areas. Tonight they will consider passing another one that includes the old Bloomington Junior High School.
Meanwhile, downtown Bloomington continues to implode as businesses leave.
The junior high building has already been purchased by a developer. I believe the developer is requesting “historic designation” to qualify for preservation grants. It hardly can be considered blighted since if was bought with plans to redevelop it. The real question is: Did somebody at the City promise them a TIF before they bought it?
If the TIF fails to pass the Council or one of the taxing bodies refuses to agree to give up future taxes, would the developer stop plans? I doubt they would jeopardize their $400,000 investment.
This statement is in the documentation for tonight: PDF page 328 http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15814
The last TIF didn’t create a prosperous downtown, this one won’t either.
Government thought the “right fit” for Bloomington was the Coliseum and the BCPA. Those worked out well!
The “right fit” must also means pothole filled roads since funding can’t be found in a budget of over $200,000,000 to fix them.
As businesses flee downtown, your government wants to “pick” replacements instead of allowing capitalism to work. Free markets are dead in Bloomington because government doesn’t allow them!
Here’s why government planning always fails:
But planners’ predictions of the future are no better than anyone else’s, so their plans will always be flawed and those flaws lead to more “grief an’ pain” than joy.
Everybody plans. We plan our workdays, we plan our careers, we plan for retirement. But private plans are flexible and we happily change them when new information arises. In contrast, as soon as a government plan is written, people who benefit from the plan form special interest groups to insure that the plan does not change no matter how costly it proves to be to society as a whole.
All the Master Plans need scrapped, the reasons are obvious.
Downtown will never be prosperous as long as government interferes.
I strongly suggest reading the rest of the article. It’s full of context for what local government is doing here. It’s has gems like this:
One way planners create congestion is by diverting an ever-increasing share of highway user fees to expensive light-rail and other transit projects. But planners’ hopes for transit have proven unfounded. Even while highways are crowded, transit buses and railcars in most cities run around nearly empty. In 2005, the average public transit bus had room for 60 people but carried just 10. The average light-rail car had room for 175 people but carried just 25. As The Onion satirically observes, we persist in building expensive rail systems because “98 percent of U.S. commuters favor public transportation for others.”
Sounds very familiar! Now you know why your roads aren’t getting fixed!