Normal: Remember all those property tax increases?

By:  Diane Benjamin

For many years the Town of Normal has raised property taxes by telling you the increases were necessary to fund pensions.

They left out one fact.  All of the increased taxes for properties located in TIF Districts don’t go to pensions – they go to the TIF.

Follow along:

This isn’t complicated.  That’s how TIF’s work.  Supposedly spending money to promote redevelopment increases the Equalized Assessed Valuation (EAV).  Therefore, the Town gets to keep more property tax revenue that enables them to pay back the money borrowed to promote development.

So, let’s say Normal needs another $1,000,000 for pensions.  Property taxes are raised on everybody, but the $1,000,000 comes from properties NOT in the TIF.  The Town pockets the increase from those in the TIF.  That means the INCREASE has to be higher so those properties outside the TIF pay that $1,000,000.

Maybe a visual will help.  This is a map of the Uptown TIF, note it isn’t just Uptown:

PDF page 30:  https://www.normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/1268/Uptown-TIF-plan?bidId=

Uptown-TIF-plan

All of the properties in this area pay higher property taxes whenever Normal raises the rate.  The increase they pay doesn’t go to pensions, it goes to payoff the massive Uptown debt.

Normal has 5 TIF districts, this is just one. 

Normal needs to clarify their next property tax increase.  The pension funding percent has to have plummeted over the last month.  Massive rate increases could be in front of the Council this year. 

Normal property owners need to know who is really paying for pensions and who isn’t.  Properties in the TIF benefit the TIF, not pensions.  The Uptown TIF has 296 properties, the only pension funding they do is based on their EAV before the TIF was established in 2003.

Much more on the Uptown TIF soon.  If you don’t understand this, just ask. 

The Uptown TIF is costing all property owners in Normal money.  In the past it has  been hidden.

10 thoughts on “Normal: Remember all those property tax increases?

  1. It will be very interesting to see how many tax bills go unpaid or late this year. Usually not a big problem but things might be different this year. We really need some large negative multipliers but I know I am only dreaming.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I say this for a laugh. One would think with all the delays in paying other taxes, the no eviction decree, the need to provide money to offset pay loss and the like adjustments here would be another adjustment coming. That is McLean county would delay the payment dates for real estate taxes until people get back on their feet. Maybe Pritzker who as a campaign promise to work on real estate tax reform would make an executive order or suggestion. See not all funnies have to have pictures.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. If I understand this correctly.

    $90+K of debt incurred…(taxpayers screwed for a long time)
    …taxpayers pay the debt and interest payments…(taxpayers screwed for a long time)
    …the property taxes in this area do not go towards pensions…(taxpayers screwed every year)
    …property taxes in this area go into the town coffers for them to spend as they like…(more money for Koos & Pam to spend)
    …the TIF life is over 2 decades…(Koos & Pam get extra money for as long as they are in government)

    This sounds like a great scam. No wonder the town named a park after Peterson.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The $100 million ghost town that is Uptown is a prime example of why government central planners shouldn’t be involved in planning the economy. It’s hard to provide services and work remotely if you’re business is a trinket shop, bar, restaurant, or hotel. Uptown was already fundamentally flawed as it consists of unscalable businesses with low-skills jobs whose revenue depends on consumer disposable income, and more specifically the disposable income of ISU students, parents, and employees. Expect the losses to grow dramatically for the Uptown TIF. How soon until Koos and the gang announce a bailout, er, I mean stimulus, for Uptown businesses?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Koos and Queen Pamela have emergency powers granted to them to do just that. I wouldn’t be surprised if in another week they invoke those powers and start doling out the handouts to preserve their precious Uptown kingdom. They could get a lot done in 48 hours.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Naturally. So, the Uptown businesses will get a subsidy on their existing subsidy, grant, and/or tax break. All to keep up the mirage that government central planning works. Well, it doesn’t!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I expect hiring more government staff is what they are talking about to bring more shoppers, diners and drinkers to Uppity Town. Oh, and more weekend events which cost the town tens of thousands and really just benefit Medici.

    The vicious cycle will not end until politicians and the long term employees who are blindly vested in this fantasy are replaced.

    Liked by 2 people

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