CIRA needs money too

By:  Diane Benjamin

Illinois is in a death spiral and now it’s local.  Every level of government refuses to live within their means and adjust to changing conditions.  They think they can pick your pocket whenever they want.

Central Illinois Regional Airport is the latest.

CIRA has found a state legislator in Bellville to sponsor a bill which expands CIRA’s taxing authority.  They want to tax the entire County instead of just Bloomington-Normal.

Chris Koos is all for it. this is a quote from him to one of the County mayors:

I understand your concern for your citizen’s tax burden, but I take serious exception to the notion that this is an” overreaching and unprecedented attempt to snow the tax payers outside of Bloomington-Normal. CIRA serves McLean County and the region, as you stated. Let’s all work to preserve the viability of this community asset.

Koos must not realize Peoria flies to many more locations and also has free parking.   Peoria can land planes in the fog instead of diverting paying customers to Peoria and stranding them there.  CIRA is not a community asset that ever should have been built.

I’d love to know how many passengers went through CIRA last year, but their website still shows 2016 numbers:

Maybe CIRA shouldn’t have let State Farm get by with lower property taxes, I thought the airport was built for them – and then the rest of the local peons!

I wonder if State Farm wants even more off their bill now:


Dan Brady sits on the committee that will decide to move a bill forward allowing CIRA to tax the County.  He is against CIRA’s plan or he would have brought the bill forward.

According to CIRA’s December  2017 minutes, they don’t need the money:

The small town mayors want resolutions passed in their towns against CIRA’s expanded tax.   They will then be given to Dan Brady.

Unless the County wants to decline even faster, I suggest all the small towns and villages get to it fast. 

Taxes never create prosperity, they destroy it.


14 thoughts on “CIRA needs money too

  1. What? Ask Dan Brady to take a stand on an issue before a primary election? Oh Diane, you’re so silly. Dan has hands to shake and pancakes to eat. Don’t bother him with taking a stand on an issue. Ask him who he’s supporting for governor.


  2. CIRA is a joke! State Farm has gut its travel budget, which, let’s face it folks, drives that airport. Not to mention, people worried about losing their job tend not to take expensive vacations. Compounding this is the easy exit for larger airlines that can’t make the numbers work. Here’s some info from a recent AdaptBN editorial… “Passenger traffic at the Central Illinois Regional Airport (CIRA) in Bloomington has decreased significantly since it peaked at 579,265 in 2011. By 2016, that number, which includes departures and arrivals, had dropped by a third to 381,109. The losses continued in 2017, with passenger traffic dropping 12% from the previous year to 333,932. These numbers are cause for concern.” So, here comes Koos with his typical answer: higher taxes. His interest is not air travel, it’s protecting his cronies that work at the airport and/or vendors/suppliers to the airport. Add to which, I’m sure he hates the small town (mostly Republican) folks that he’s sticking with the bill. By the way, correct me if I’m wrong Diane, but many or not all of these smaller surrounding communities spoke out and opposed the airport from Day 1.


  3. CIRA is WAY past its prime. Peoria has a better schedule and better rates, and a larger market. Plus, you’re NOT as apt to get stuck with a flight NOT going there, i.e.: getting stuck because the plane isn’t “loaded” somewhere else.
    As for Koos, his waterloo WAS Portillos, the clock is ticking.


  4. I wonder at times when checking air fares if the airlines are trying to get out of BMI. I fly frequently and find the rates at BMI much higher and LESS convenient than PIA. My feeling is they hope to get the passenger count in BMI down to the point they can say it is unprofitable, or attempt to get the airport to subsidize fares (is this the real reason airport wants in on real estate taxes?). The airport should be shut down and Peoria charter could run buses to PIA from the airport at BMI, then they could even turn it into a Tari’s bus station and a library!

    Liked by 1 person

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