By: Diane Benjamin
After the roads discussion at Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting for the Bloomington City Council, the Finance Director (Scott Rathbun) did a short presentation.
Rathbun mentioned the City may need the excess reserves if a lot of employees decide to retire. They not only have to pay employees for all the comp time they have accumulated, they have to pay the IMRF penalties for pension spiking. It appears the City has made the decision that employee retirements are more important than roads. We are now at least 6 years past when the laws for spiking changed, taxpayers are continuing to get fleeced.
The discussion turned to the City’s bond rating. Scott Rathbun showed a slide that says AAA rated cities have 25% in reserves. Bloomington has a AA rating with a goal of 15%. They could end the year with more than 20%.
Alderman Scott Black did a quick search of Normal’s reserves, they only have 15% and still have an AAA rating. Tari then claimed Normal’s rating is higher because of what they went into debt for. He also claimed nobody wants to invest in a AAA city because the return on investment is lower.
The citizens were told for years Bloomington has a “structural deficit” therefore taxes must be raised. That argument is now worn out since over-taxing and some amount of fiscal responsibility has created a surplus. They have plans for that money, they just aren’t telling you what it is.
Chris Koos told WGLT he isn’t going to jump on a gas tax increase: https://www.wglt.org/post/mayor-normal-not-keen-copy-possible-bloomington-gas-tax
If Bloomington passes the gas tax, which also applies to diesel fuel, they will be putting businesses located in Bloomington at a competitive disadvantage. More proof they are anti-business. Worse, the additional money raised is not restricted to fixing the roads. It will be available for anything they want to call infrastructure.
Watch the video, Black sounds like he is against not spending the reserves, just hit play: