Normal: Yes, increasing your property taxes is on the agenda

By:  Diane Benjamin

PDF page 50:  https://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/3446

Normal tax increase

Normal under this Council is not capable of living within their means.

I bet you didn’t know about this two day meeting of the council with Lyle Sumek:

lylesumek 2 day

Sumek is the guy really running Normal.  I bet this meeting isn’t going as well as last year’s!  Celebrate they are meeting at a facility owned by the Town instead of paying for space at a hotel.  They didn’t last year.

The public can attend – drop by!

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15 thoughts on “Normal: Yes, increasing your property taxes is on the agenda

  1. The pensions are owed, so I get that part. They certainly needs to be reform as the current path on pensions is simply not sustainable.

    What I don’t get is the emphasis on paying it exclusively thru property taxes and to a 100% level instead of 90%. Relying on property taxes instead of a budget line item somewhat hides the expense. Perhaps sadly that is the point

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    1. Normal has been hiding behind that for many years! Koos will claim there is nothing else he can do. Hawaii? Less than market rate leases? Renting an entire floor of a building just to get it built? Paying property taxes they don’t owe? Free Uptown events that aren’t free? Renting a carriage for a parade? The list is endless.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. You’re catching on!
      Ninety percent funding is required by state statute by year 2040. Normal has decided to go above and beyond and make it their goal to be at 100% by 2040. A worthy goal, but neither are possible under present trajectory. We’ll be taxed out of our homes before we get there. Adequately funding a defined benefit plan is like shooting a moving target. There are far too many variables in which there’s never enough money to fund this type of a benefit. Transfer to a define contribution plan must be step one of pension reform in Illinois.

      State law makers are currently floating the idea of fund consolidation in the present veto session. And who knows it might just get passed. But, we need to be cautious of getting behind these measures because ultimately, I fear they’re a veiled bailout plan for other municipalities. This is exactly what Mayor Lightfoot in Chicago is hoping for and if we’re not careful with this proposal, it’s just a matter of time before we’re stuck bailing them out. But, worse, I fail to see the light of day in this type of a “reform” measure. With a public pension debt in Illinois estimated at over $214 Billion, this measure alone is not going to get the job done. In fact, it may leave us in worse shape than we are now.

      There’s no question, state law makers have dealt local municipalities throughout Illinois a bad hand. But, when you’re dealt a bad hand you need to play your cards wisely and Normal has not. They’ve never budgeted for pensions and have relied solely on a property tax levy to fund them. Normal property owners have seen an increase in the property tax levy for 13 straight years. This is year 14. Last year was the first time the town of Normal didn’t raise a levy in 12 years, but this paved the way for Unit 5 to raise the levy. The end result is that Normal is not an affordable place to live. A craft beer joint in Uptown will not regain the quality of life that has been robbed Normal property owners through a yearly promise of a tax increase. It’s time for this Council to tighten their belt, learn to live within their means and find another funding formula for funding our public pensions by requiring them to be a line item in the budget.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. (Largely reposted from earlier discussion since I hadn’t seen there was a newer, related post.)
    Normal is landlord to rental agreements that it is losing money on. Perhaps those could be revamped or cancelled, and the monies applied to pensions?
    The council voted to allocate over a million taxpayer dollars towards tearing down the popular uptown mural. Perhaps that money could have been better applied to pensions?
    The council recently voted to give $150K to the new brewpub. Granted that is future money rather than cash-on-hand, but perhaps that money could have been better applied to pensions?
    The council voted a pay increase for themselves and the mayor, and we have a well-compensated town manager and I expect some budgeting/accounting staff, most of whom seem unable to find a way to budget for pensions, necessitating frequent tax increases. Perhaps some of That money should be applied towards pensions?

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  3. Lyle is Koos’ spinmaster, while Reece is his enforcer. It’s likely that Lyle is/was designing the strategy or spin to explain the forthcoming tax hike which is already in the bag. The irony here is that taxpayers are paying a consultant to training politicians to spin the reason for raising taxes. You can’t make this stuff up! I hope Stan makes a fuss when this comes up for a vote. Yes, the votes won’t be there to block the increase, but this is critical for the next election cycle. I’m curious to know how Koos, Lyle and the gang will explain away the need to increase taxes.

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      1. Maybe. But Stan can call this out as a lie in a nanosecond. Also, the citizens aren’t going to buy it anyway. Even if it were true, it’s not going to pass the smell test, especially with the Uptown debacle. Bad optics. I suspect they’re going to put on a more elaborate pitch, maybe threatening funding to programs or saying we won’t recognize the Town if we have to cut. Or, the old standby, “it’s only the price of a cup of coffee.” Koos and the gang will try to distance this tax raise from the failures of big government spending. (“It’s a different pile of money.” Another favorite of mine.) They know they’re going to take the heat, but can’t risk derailing their debt-financed utopian dream.

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  4. It amazes me HOW MANY people go out to he Rader farm for halloween to walk the corn maze, do some activities, buy a pumpkin and see the animals, when ALL they have to do is go to a council meeting to witness “hogs at the trough” My apologies to hogs.

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