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.
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:
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.