By: Diane Benjamin
Start over folks! The City didn’t just buy the Jumer’s Conference Center. The original lease for the Conference Center was dated in 1987. Documents from that long ago are not on-line, but I imagine they did what Normal did with the Marriott: The hotel is owned by the operators and Normal owns the Conference Center. The difference is Bloomington leased the Conference Center.
I have to correct something I wrote yesterday. The Conference Center is taxable for property taxes since it’s leased, the owner’s haven’t been paying them though. For the last 2 years taxes have been sold at a Tax Sale, likely this year it will happen again:
The same thing happened with taxes on the hotel:
What does it mean when taxes are sold?
The County publishes a list of delinquent property taxes that will be sold. Investors are buying a lien on the property. Either the property owner can pay the investor to get the lien removed or when the redemption period ends the investors can take action to recover what they are owed plus interest.
Obviously the Chateau is troubled. This Pantagraph article from 2015 said the owners were behind $335,000 paying local taxes (like food, beverage, hotel): https://www.pantagraph.com/business/chateau-owes-bloomington-in-local-taxes/article_26ed0521-7d99-5a7d-bc45-542f03d21378.html
I remember City lawyer Jeff Jurgens mentioning a payment plan had been established. I would have to FOIA the current information, but it likely won’t be good since property taxes haven’t been paid by the operators.
If you don’t learn anything else, learn this: Government used your tax dollars for speculative investment during a time when this area was growing. Your tax dollars were wasted on a never used fire station, a never used water tower, the Coliseum, and the BCPA instead of used for essential services. That’s why your taxes have been raised over and over and over. The failed to see the boom would eventually bust. You are now paying for the mistakes of previous Councils.
Worse, the current Council is no different. They may want to spend $14 million+ on a water park that will only be used a couple months a year. There is talk of covering it so it can be used all year. You would get to pay for staff, benefits, and pensions to run it, yet another assault on capitalism. Indoor pools already exist in the private sector and non-profits. The city doesn’t need to own another one.
Obviously it is much more fun to spend other people’s money than create ways to take less of it.