Fleeced again Normal!

By:  Diane Benjamin

This story is a follow-up to this one:  https://blnnews.com/2020/02/26/why-normal-needs-fundamental-transformation/


In 2015 the Town of Normal bought:

513 N School for $170,000

509 N School for $150,000

614 N School for $190,000

In 2016 the Town paid property taxes on these three properties.  Taxes should have been from only the time in 2015 when they were rented.

6/6/2016  PDF page 9  https://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2115

Norml Property tax school

At the same link is documentation for selling 513 N School and 614 N School.

513 N School was sold for $70,000 – A loss of $100,000

614 N School was sold for $45,000 – a loss of $145,000

509 N School was sold for $65,000 – a loss of $85,000

See this link for 509 – PDF page 107:  https://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2115

The Town of Normal lost more money on these three properties than they will gain from the new water rate increase approved last Monday!

I sent a FOIA to Normal for the appraisals Normal had done before buying them.  An appraisal was only done for 509 N School.  The house was valued in a 42 page appraisal for $77,000Why did the Town pay $150,000 for a house worth $77,000?  See the appraisal here:  Vance_appraisal   (PDF page 8)  The appraisal has pictures of the house vacant. it was completed on 5/27/16.  

Understand now why appraisals weren’t done on the other two properties?  Whoever decided on the purchase price didn’t care, so at least they didn’t waste the money!

The reason for doing this is spelled out in the documentation.  These properties were legal non-conforming rooming houses.  Supposedly the properties have “been the source of chronic property maintenance and other nuisance complaints”.

The Town decided all three should be single-family residences.

Disregard for a minute the Town removed affordable housing, likely rented to ISU students.

The bottom line is Normal used your tax money to create their own version of Utopia.  They used the same philosophy with Uptown.  Buy high, sell really cheap or just give properties away.

The documentation for 614 N School has this statement:  Based on the condition and size of the house, Town staff did not anticipate recovering more than half the purchase price. 

The documentation for the other two properties has this statement:  Other inquirers were discouraged by the inability to retain the nonconforming use. 

So other buyers weren’t allowed, even if they would pay more, because they want apartments, not single family.

What do you call a government that purposely “social engineers” using your tax dollars to reach utopia only because they can?

One that will eventually run out of other people’s money?

Normal just raises taxes and calls it the cost of delivering services.  That frees up other money to social engineer or just throw it out the window.  This is more proof Normal has a total disregard for taxpayers.  These people would never do this with their own money.

Get ready for Koos’s big going away party, he deserves it.


8 thoughts on “Fleeced again Normal!

  1. With terrible deals like this I’m surprised Koos business hasn’t gone bankrupt! At least I know where my next bike is coming from. I can make a deal with Koos and probably get it below cost. Or if I’m smart,I can become a city employee and get one courtesy of the taxpayers!


  2. This was a clear case of the Town flushing hundreds of thousands of dollars down the toilet to indulge a pet peeve / pet project of some connected insider(s). Maybe it was pure greed. Maybe they wanted to live in that area but couldn’t find an affordable, appropriate house. Maybe they didn’t like living next to college students. Maybe it was ‘altruistic’ and they wanted to enhance the ‘historical feel’ of that area. *None* of those warrant the town blowing over $300K in bad real estate deals.
    And this happened on the watch of a town manager that most of the council recently voted to give a Raise! By my math, it would take about 50 years of foregone raises just to make up for this one ‘financial faux pas’, never mind overpaying real estate taxes, undercharging rent, refusing to use local Cheaper vendors, and who knows what all else!
    We need more ‘Stans’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am apparently mistaken on time frames – Pam was not the town manager when these went through so they cannot be laid entirely at her feet. Nonetheless, I do not recall her decrying or actively correcting any of the mismanagement of her predecessor, just continuing ‘business as usual’…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I should have added: my home was appraised at $150,000 ten years ago. Taxes were $1200 now $2400 with senior discount but value is now $120,000….

    Liked by 1 person

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