Privilege Tax

By:  Diane Benjamin

It is very easy to describe government in Normal:

“Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases:

If it moves, tax it.

If it keeps moving, regulate it.

And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

Ronald Reagan

Hotel occupancy in Bloomington-Normal is way down, according to the manager of the DoubleTree who spoke during public comment in Normal Monday night.  He was in favor of taxing the few short-term rental competitors.  Marc Tiritilli spoke in opposition to the short-term occupancy tax.  Marc claimed the ordinance wasn’t written by Town staff, it was written by a national hotel association.  He went on to claim parts will cause problems in the future.  Of course the Council passed it unanimously anyway.  One even mentioned they may have to revisit the issue later in the interest of public safety.

True Progressives!

Playing mommy and daddy to citizens is always the goal.  These websites police themselves through reviews by guests.  Results are posted for the entire world to see.  Bad reviews will get homeowners kicked off sites like Airbnb.  The Town called the 6% tax:  Privileged Tax.

The Town of Normal is giving you the “privilege” to use your own property.  Watching the State of Illinois self destruct because of taxes and regulations, one would think local government – closest to the people – would see the boot of state policies destroying prosperity.  Instead, the Normal Town Council bowed to big business by assisting them to squash almost non-existence competition.  The Town staff will now  troll short-term rental sites for local violators.

We knew occupancy rates at local hotels was down, at least now it’s been publicly stated.  No wonder Tari Renner hasn’t mentioned a downtown Bloomington hotel recently.  Tari is counting on a bus transfer station creating downtown traffic.  It will, the people just won’t have any money to spend there though.

Normal also decided anyone under 21 can’t buy tobacco products.  A student from ISU spoke in support of the ordinance.  ISU has taught her well.  Socialists always demand government do something.  She pleaded with the Town to limit personal freedom and responsibility.  She won.  18 year-olds are granted lots of rights and responsibility.  They can buy property, sign contracts, serve in the military, get married – but they can’t smoke.  I wonder if the same girl is lobbying Illinois to legalize marijuana.

Bloomington will likely pass both soon.  Protect and Serve isn’t the police motto, government wants to protect you from everything they don’t.  Personal responsibility isn’t required.

Marc Tiritlli was eloquent as usual, just hit play to hear what Normal could have been with 12 more votes.  The guy from the Doubletree follows.  The ISU student was before Marc.


15 thoughts on “Privilege Tax

  1. Here is something they don’t mention: I’m guessing the DoubleTree and all these other hotels received some sort of tax subsidy or economic incentive dollars to build and operate their hotels. Are those hotels willing to return the subsidies they received to create a more level playing field? Or is the Normal government going to give everyone “economic development” dollars to make their homes the best Air BNB and VRBO options?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been gone for a bit, and, well, the beat goes on. I shudder to think how many new sate fees and taxes the Doughboy will dream up add to those the ones BLONO will come up with and it will soon be impossible to live here unless you are on full benefits or stinking rich in some sort of over paid and over pensioned Govt. job or are a professor or hold other high up university positions. Mexico is sounding better all the time – wonder if they would be willing to accept a caravan of Illinois refugees from Bloomington-Normal fleeing exploitation and government oppression? Closer to home perhaps Mississippi would accept us.


      1. True, Texas would be good, got to stem the tide from California who flee to places like Texas and Idaho and bring their repulsive progressive ideas with them as if they can’t comprehend that those things are exactly why they left California – they are indeed a special kind of stupid.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Spot on, Marc! Yes, the hotels are literally writing the laws (and political script) for taxing AirBnBs across the country. Hate to say it, but this tax was inevitable, especially with the current cast of characters in local government. By the way, the actions of Normal now give Renner cover fire to apply the same tax in Bloomington. He can say something like “In the interest of fairness…” Haha! I’m sure they’re already working on it. More importantly, occupancy at the DoubleTree is not down because of 60-70 AirBnBs* in Bloomington and Normal. Their occupancy is down because State Farm cut travel across the board and also has three hub destinations for employees, agents, vendors, etc. to fly in for a meeting. DoubleTree has a huge contract with State Farm. Of course, they can’t bite the hand that feeds them nor criticize our dear leaders about the state of the local economy. So, let’s take it out on private citizens renting a spare bedroom for a little spending money. [*I did separate searches of AirBnB rentals in Bloomington and in Normal. The results overlap (see map on the right side of the screen), so this is an estimated figure.]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes the problem is not and will never be AirBnB folks. They are the whipping boys for the hotel industry here and the cities who depend on their tax revenue. But the problem is State Farm and the decline of overall economic activity here. Look at he numbers in air travel? Lashing out at a few residents using their increasingly less valuable homes here to make some money is pathetic. There are two things happening here: 1. We are in the beginning of a general economic decline that will continue as State Farm continues to be disrupted in the market place. 2. The wave of technological change and resulting disruption is changing and disrupting 20th Century business models everywhere. Bloomington/Normal’s former insulating bubble is gone and it is not ever coming back.

      So instead of embracing the coming changes and actually doing something to help the cities transition into the coming new economic realities, our low IQ clueless leadership attacks the tip of the iceberg while ignoring the underlying behemoth of change that lies below the waterline.


      1. Lawrence you are very much on to something here that the clowns in local leadership just don’t get. The times they are a changing. Retail markets continue to transition to an online economy. Life in a digital world allows more people to work from their homes resulting in less need for office space. Unless of course you work for the government where you need to build a building that local government can turn around and rent as the lone occupant for over a quarter of a million a year.

        The problem with all of this is that our local leadership just doesn’t see the writing on the wall. Uptown Normal is fueled by a model that does not understand any of these sociological trends. They want to build more office space and more retail space attached to the office space. The result is empty newly constructed buildings. Millennials are minimalists meaning they desire less stuff and less space to live in. Anyone seen Tiny House Nation? They prefer to work remotely and not report to an office. Yet, Tari and others want to build them all kinds of crap they don’t even want and subsidize retail markets, all in the name of quality of life and repeat the mantra, “we need to attract millennials to our community…”

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Not only do they have to impose ANOTHER tax, they give it a name that reeks of the stench of Leftist ideology. I admit it, I’m so disgusted that it is kinda becoming fun to sit back and watch Bloomington and Normal implode.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is like watching a slow motion train wreck….. you know how it is going to end…. twisted metal… explosions…. fire…. but you just can’t stop watching! I am also disgusted. What should have the citizens of this area marching with pitchforks and torches is greeted with apathy and disregard.


  5. We have a large family with siblings who left Illinois for greener pastures. They complain about coming back to the area because there are not enough airbnbs available and they don’t want to stay in hotels for the holidays. So thanks blono govt, there will be less airfare to blono because of you! So we will meet up somewhere more friendly with cheaper airfare and better airbnbs!


    1. And if they need transportation while they are here, they are not going to ride the bus or call a taxi… they will summon an Uber or a Lyft, right? In spite of our leadership’s (government and business) desire to hold back the technological changes and their resulting disruptions of 20th Century business models with backward thinking antiquated mindsets, the technologically enabled citizens of 2018 are going to do what makes sense for them, their lives and their pocket books. Try as they might to deny and actively fight the changes that are sweeping our world (and blono), all the leadership is really doing is making our area less adaptable for future changes and less attractive to businesses, startups and entrepreneurs. Our leadership here is just not very smart…. and they don’t seem to be getting any smarter.


  6. abNRS = abNormal Revenue Service since it’s absolutely crazy to consider the town government as normal people.
    Taxes, taxes, taxes!


  7. I love that quote from Ronald Reagan. I remember when he said that I thought it was hilarious. Today it’s no longer funny, it was prophetic. Truer words were never spoken so succinctly about our government. Reagan spoke with reference to our federal government. Tragically, we speak of it today in terms of our local government that is just as out of control as the federal government ever was.

    That is why this web site is so very important and why people had better wake up to what’s going on in their back yard. Washington doesn’t care what you think, neither does Springfield. Normal and Bloomington don’t either, but this is where we live and we better start getting involved, speaking out, running for office, recruiting others to do the same and most of all voting in local elections. Otherwise we’re going to be taxed and regulated right out of our homes and lose whatever freedoms we have left.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are 100% correct, politics does start on a local level and it is the level where something can be done about it, like strangling out the progressives and their agenda before it takes root and grows into the monstrous thing that it has become. Unfortunately it has taken root here in spades and it now will be harder to take down. I feel that it can still be turned around but it will take just what you said, VOTING AND finding people willing to run for local offices and be slammed down at every turn by the vicious Marxists masquerading as Democrats using their compliant media and any other resource that they now control. I know I know, it sounds bleak doesn’t it? The “progressives” will/would say that I am being a crazy tin foil hat wearing alarmist and that things are NOT so bad, but, that is the tactic they have used for generations against anyone who speaks out against them. Day to day life, if you just go on about your daily life is not so horrible here, especially if you make enough money that the excessive taxes, fines and fees don’t effect you too much, and you live where these things seldom if ever effect your life, BUT when you REALLY look around, it is getting worse and worse year by year by year – Taking out Koos and Renner and replacing them with decent human beings would only be the beginning though because the creature is huge now and many headed with tons of little minions willing (and able) to continue the slow destruction of what was once a nice decent community, and yes, at one time, it WAS, hard to believe now isn’t it? Bloomington and Normal BOTH need a HUGE overhaul and a HUGE renovation, a massive cleaning out of the drek and rabble that now hold many of the govt positions as well as the media positions. It’s like holding a broom and trying to sweep back the sea though, it will take thousands of people with thousands of brooms to clear out and sweep back this mess we are in.


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