Townships-the hidden government

By:  Diane Benjamin

You may have received your property tax bill today, I did.

If you live in either Bloomington Township or Normal Township you will see a separate line on the bill for them.

I found it amusing that Normal Township has this on their website:

Township government is the most basic unit of local government; truly grassroots government at work. The officials are all local residents of this township, elected by the township citizenry, and always available to talk with their constituency.

Bloomington has a similar statement:  http://www.cityofbloomingtontownship.org/

Do you know what a Township does?

First look at some numbers taken from what Bloomington and Normal report to the comptroller’s office:    http://warehouse.illinoiscomptroller.com/  (Click to enlarge)

 

 

 

Note the creative math – Fund Balance + Revenue – Expenses doesn’t equal the ending balance in numerous places.

Both Townships have a General Fund and a Special Fund.  The General Fund provides assistance to qualified recipients, pays the Assessor’s salary and expenses, and pays for the Township Administration and offices.

The Special Fund in Bloomington pays for roads and bridges in the Township.  This is the description the Bloomington Township provided to the Comptroller:

Did you notice Normal’s number’s are much higher?

The General fund for Normal serves the same purpose as Bloomington’s.  The Special Fund doesn’t.  Here is what they told the Comptroller they are doing with the Special Fund:

The General Fund in 2017 showed $592,488 for Central Administration plus debt and Interest payments of $347,937.  Bloomington Central Administration was only $77,334 (seems too low) with no debt payments.

Know what the Senior Citizen Fund is?  

It is Normal controlling entertainment yet again:  https://www.activityandrecreationcenter.org/

ARC – Activities and Recreation Center.   Everybody in Normal is paying for Senior Entertainment.

One more note on the chart above – see the YELLOW percentages.

Fund Balance is basically a savings account.  The percent is the amount of Fund Balance on hand just for the Special  Revenue Fund(s).  Normal keeps about 1 year of cash on hand.  Bloomington has varied from 2 years to more than 13 years of cash on hand.

Both claim Township Government is the one closest to you.  Townships are actually a minor government unit that is rarely watched.  The Bloomington Council just held a Township meeting, I don’t think it was live streamed.

Is Bloomington over-taxing citizens or saving for some big road repairs?  Maybe they could resurface the Dawson Township road Bloomington residents are using to access their homes at the Grove.  The Dawson Townships residents shouldn’t be charged for it!

The Grove is in Bloomington Township.  The chart above is from 4/30/17.  Since there is never a rush to release financial information in Bloomington, it will be 8-10 months before we know how much cash they have at the end of today.  Yes, today is the end of the fiscal year.  Normal’s was March 31st.

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5 thoughts on “Townships-the hidden government

  1. One job of the townships is to help low income residents not become homeless by assisting with rent or utilities. I have been told from several Normal residents that they are not helping until July. I also know that last Thursday the Salvation Army was at capacity for males.

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    1. But, but…WGLT reported 3% unemployment rate. Everything is fine in Bloomington-Normal, just ask our elitest, central planners.

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      1. LOL LOL 3%, riiiigghhht……..That must mean the “disabled” (cough) and chronically unemployed rate must be at an all time high.

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