Another TIF – “Right Fit”

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

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.

Sound familiar?

Read more:

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!






16 thoughts on “Another TIF – “Right Fit”

  1. Would not surprise me if promises were passed somehow , but it’s not fair to no one , and no more tif or special allowances , let free enterprise and reason fill the demands and our city will grow properly and with less debt . property is not forced thru by giving free rides while under funding items citizens need , and by overtaxing citicens to fund programs that they see wasteful .


  2. When planners aren’t planning, they’re not working. Part of their plan is to “sell” the plan so they keep working. All old plans must be flawed or obsolete so that new plans can be therefore be “sold” and planners can keep themselves employed. All a planner needs at this point is a sucker to sell it to.


  3. Wonder if Karen Schmidt’s husband who according to Buragas is in with Historic Preservation Committee has anything to do with this. Wonder if Karen will recuse herself?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’d like for Tari and the City Council to define “right fit” and explain what types of businesses they have “targeted” or will target. Better yet, what is the “wrong fit”? No matter what these morons in City Hall think or say, the market is the ultimate judge. It doesn’t care what politicians and their friends think or try to prop up. You can only prop up a business or development project so long before it has to make it on its own.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. TIF Districts are nothing more than a redistribution of wealth. The little guys get fleeced so they can transfer his little bit of earnings on to the big guys. It’s almost like the Mafia! Show me a Developer who isn’t in debt looking for their next free handout so they can keep the bank from knocking on their door and foreclosing? I highly doubt you will find one. Meanwhile the little guy gets fleeced!


  6. The Uptown Normal plan failed? Huh. Whether you agree or not, they had a plan and executed it and redeveloped a blighted area. EAVs are up. Rents are up. Sales tax receipts are up. So…as it concerns highway congestion, look up “induced demand.” More lanes mean more traffic and more congestion. Can’t build your way out of it. The only thing that can be done is encourage less single occupancy vehicle use. That means carpooling and mass transit.


    1. Revenues are falling and they have $92,000,000 to pay back. Did you finish reading the article? Your points were covered. You can’t force people into public transportation. Spend millions and get 25 riders. Government doesn’t realize it’s difficult to stop for milk on the way home on a bus. Hard to pick up the kids too.


    2. Rich, if Uptown Normal was so successful, the Town would not need to raise property taxes, increase fees, lay off personnel and other cost cutting measures. You are living in the land of Oz. Look behind the curtain.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Didn’t the City just purchase for $95K one of the vacant lots in the proposed new TIF district?
    One needs to ask, what is the current balance in the already formed downtown TIF districts? There hasn’t been any new development downtown to generate increased property value. The City purchased $2.5M worth of property downtown in the past 2 years. No property taxes generated there.
    The developer who purchased the old HS building will most likely receive grants for historic preservation and maybe grants for affordable housing for senior citizens. The City is suffering from a fiscal deficit crisis and they “give away” tax dollars. What are they thinking?
    Economic development uses the criteria based on “but for.” There would be no development “but for” government subsidies. How about, there would be no need to continually raise taxes & fees “but for” unfettered spending.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Rich, WHAT bathroom wall do you get your news from? UPTOWN’s tax income is DOWN and as for traffic. It has to go BACK west on beaufort. And if YOU like public transportation, how about sending Connect Transit a check for $900K and cover their butt for a month.. It’ll make ya feel ALL GOOD!!


  9. Honestly I don’t know why some lawyers even mess with having an office in the downtown. I went to see one today and some guy asked me if I had 50 cents as he strolled by on the sidewalk. Not to mention the parking hunt. Now ask yourself why would anyone want to go there or even have a business there. There are better places to be found with ample parking and hassle free sidewalk walking.


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