Uptown, something easy to understand

By:  Diane Benjamin

This is story #3.  I know many of you didn’t understand #2 – I can tell that by the number of “Shares” it received.  Keep in mind sharing information is the only way what I report gets to other people!

Brief recap:

Story #1:  https://blnnews.com/2020/03/31/normal-remember-all-those-property-tax-increases/

Everybody in Normal is paying higher property taxes because of Uptown.

Story #2:  https://blnnews.com/2020/04/01/normal-uptown-reporting-lacks-transparency/

Financial reporting on the Uptown TIF includes increased property tax revenue but all expenses are not reported with that income.

Now for story #3:

The two properties from story #2 are the Hyatt and 1 Uptown Circle.  I posted an email from Pam Reece saying both are not in the TIF reports because they didn’t receive TIF money.

Got that?  Hyatt not in the TIF.  1 Uptown Circle not in the TIF.



This is a full color glowing report on the Uptown TIF.  It is not a report on Uptown, it’s on the TIF District.

If the Hyatt and 1 Uptown Circle are not in the TIF, why are they listed on PDF page 4 as “notable private projects”?

not in TIF

“Private” is also deceptive since both got taxpayer money.

At the September 3, 2019 Council meeting this 62 page Normal Uptown TIF Analysis was presented by Mike Weber, Director PGAV Planners:  http://www.normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/15883/Normal-Uptown-TIF-Analysis_rev_20111015-PDF

See PDF page 22:  Hyatt Place gets it’s own page!  How can a TIF Analysis include properties NOT in the TIF?

Summary of Story #3:

Deceive to Achieve


9 thoughts on “Uptown, something easy to understand

  1. Yes there is a giant financial albatross circling high above the Uptown Boondoggle.

    The question here is:

    What is going to happen to ISU after this Chinese Virus BS?

    Does anyone think things will ever be the same for higher education after this?

    Is it still going to be a good idea to continue to market to foreign high paying students?

    Will it not become obvious to parents and students that they can still learn just as well from home without the residency costs?

    Will not parents and students start to seriously question the cost of higher education after a semester of low cost (to the school) distance learning.

    So when the Chinese Virus is over… take a look above Uptown. That financial albatross is going to look more like a vulture every day.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sorry to tell you, but that albatross/vulture you see coming is sharply higher taxes for the citizens. It’s already being discussed in cities and towns across the country. They will get their money, and they will justify it by saying they need it in response to events no one could predict, everyone else is doing it, and our rates are lower than Town X – just like they always have.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. My hope it is enough to get those that have sat on the sidelines and done nothing to wake up. Get out and vote when we can again. Don’t accept things at face value, show the same drive the socialists like Carillo and company, that we to can get up and get in their face.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. In the short run this will be true. But you can only tax so… much! The real problem will be an erosion of the tax base. This is already happening. Normal’s main economic driver (ISU) will decline. It is just a matter of when and how much and how fast.

        So Mayor Koos and his current and former posse have placed a multi-million dollar debt load on the taxpayers of Normal to pay for the ISU Uptown Marketing plan. Spending 100 million dollars to market what Mayor Koos thought was going to continue exactly the same (ISU) for the next 20 years was a disastrous plan.

        So at first it will be high taxes and they it will be a default on the debt. Welcome to the next Decatur on the Prairie!

        Note: And I didn’t even mention the effect that continued downsizing of State Farm will have on Normal!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry to say, but most eyes glaze over when they see numbers and different documents to cross-reference. Of course, this is all part of the government sleight-of-hand in Normal. If they can put information in different places and/or make it difficult to follow the trail, people tune out. Koos and the gang then get to sell Uptown as a success by essentially implying that its mere aesthetics prove the project is/was worthwhile. No need to discuss complicated government paperwork or numbers. Unfortunately for Koos and his pals, despite massive tax breaks and subsidies, there are/were (pre-COVID) vacancies abound. Worse for Koos and the gang, people have started to realize what a boondoggle Uptown is. This crisis is not ruining Uptown, it’s merely exposing it.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I am sure we will soon hear the propaganda machine tell us Trail East and the Underpass are the answer to the economic disaster caused by Covid-19. We should trust Koos & Co. and chip in a few thousand dollars each to see the fantastic economic impact of a more complete Uptown. UPTOWN WILL SAVE US ALL.

    Liked by 3 people

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