The Sales Tax decline in Bloomigton

By:  Diane Benjamin

In 2015 both Bloomington and Normal increased the local Sales Tax 1%.  The people least able to pay more, the poor, were attacked again with more taxes.

Part of the reason given was to give money to the County for Mental Health Services, actually it was to pay for the jail expansion.

The amount of money given to the County is decreasing because Sales Tax Revenue is decreasing

See the budget for 2019 – PDF page 341


Now see PDF page 68:


Simple economics would have told the City that receipts would decrease when the tax was increased.  When people have less money to spend sales decrease.  Add all the other taxes Bloomington has increased and residents have a lot less in their pocket to spend.

The decrease in tax receipts was easily predictable since wages haven’t risen as fast as taxes.

Internet sales might have contributed to some of the decline.  Saving 2.5% in local taxes provides incentives to shop elsewhere.  Even if websites are charging State tax, they aren’t charging local tax.

Increasing taxes to add on to the library or for a sports complex can only mean this trend will accelerate.  Less money to spend always means less revenue, unless debt is used by consumers to compensate.   Simple economics also would tell you that’s a bad idea.

The cost of the BCPA and Coliseum were probably at least 50% higher than reported.  The debt expenses are never included.

PDF page 57 – this is how budgets were balanced with declining revenues.





14 thoughts on “The Sales Tax decline in Bloomigton

  1. Let’s see Macys, Penny’s, Radio Shack, Kmart, Cub foods, Murray shoes, Fresh Market, et, al. See a trend there. Also, as taxes go UP, people WILL shop elsewhere, thereby accelerating the decline of the SMALL business and Taris beloved and holy grail “downtown” . IF Tari AND the council had a clue, they would roll back taxes and make the twin cities CHEAPER to shop in, then MORE costly. Thereby ATTRACTING shoppers. But then again what does a poll-sci professor off bouncing around in a rainbow world know about economics??
    It’d be like asking Atilla the Hun about anger management..
    Meanwhile the busses roll on, the Arena spends till Tari takes the Pcard away, and we get the statement.. This is NOT maintainable!

    1. Taxes definitely cause people to go elsewhere. I wouldn’t be surprised if Portillo’s puts Windy City Weiners out of business (very similar entrees offered) or other fast food/fast casual locations around Veterans. The town council was kidding themselves if they thought the overall eat-out tax revenue would go up. As sales tax generated by Portillo’s or other hand-picked winners goes up, other restaurants will produce less revenue and then less sales tax. In public, the council will blame the consultants for a flawed study, the changing economy, or Republicans. However, in reality, they make decisions to benefit the favored few and redistribute dollars to those they want to succeed.

      1. Funny you should mention Portillo’s. Recently, I went there to eat at dinnertime (of course the students aren’t around) and it was nearly empty. So it goes here–the newness wears off.

    2. Yes, I am proud to admit I have taken my business elsewhere. By traveling a lot for work I can save money. Tari and company are idiots.

  2. 2 million will pay a lot of treatment hours of care. Facilities look nice, but are not succeessful!

  3. Bloomington and Normal should consider paying for billboards on 55, 74 and 39 to advertise food, hotel and gas offerings at exits. This would actually have a positive ROI and bring in money from out of towners.

      1. Once they get their teeth rattled out of their heads due to poor road conditions, they won’t stop again.

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