Normal got a free property!

By:  Diane Benjamin

I’m reading through 100’s of pages of emails, I will post others at some point.  This one made me stop.  City Manager Pam Reece does updates for the Council.  This excerpt is part of one sent April 25th:

101 E vernon


  • John and Marilyn Freese plan to donate the property to the Town of Normal.  Take a guess why.

I wrote about this property last October:

In that story is an email where the  Freese’s claim the property appraised at $400,000.  They are only paying property taxes on a value of $165,843.

The County records don’t show this “gift” has taken place yet.  The house has been empty since last September.

Unless Normal decides to keep paying property taxes on their “gift”, the Uptown TIF will lose around $1800 a year.  Unit 5 will lose around $1900, the other taxing bodies will all lose out (including Normal) because yet another property will be exempt.

Guess who needs to make up the difference?  All levels of government need X dollars from property taxes.  If Normal takes this “gift”, there will be one less property to spread that X amount over.  Everybody else will pay more.

Creating utopia is expensive.  Wait until taxpayers get the maintenance bills for their “free” property.  When does one more amenity become one too many?

In Normal, never.

Is ISU too smart to accept the house themselves?



8 thoughts on “Normal got a free property!

  1. While I appreciate nature retreats in town, this would likely be a high maintenance manicured garden and not suitable for wildlife. ,There are many preserves within 5 miles of town. I would like to see more effort in fixing our streets and lowering our ridiculously high taxes.

    Also, since nothing is free I wonder how much in maintenance, upgrades, and repairs taxpayers will be on the hook for? And I would bet any amount of money that Pam and the council bobble heads will pay whatever the cost to fix up this property instead of fixing the streets.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What $$$,$$” did Freese’s get for their house, who paid it, and how was it paid? They had a house already picked out that they wanted to buy. What funds did they use to buy their new house and how did they get that money. Looks like slight of hand and gymnastics with tax payer dollars.


  3. The Freese’s may be inflating the value of the donation for tax purposes. It may be more advantageous financially to donate it then use the donation to reduce their tax bill vs. selling it then paying taxes. Remember, they may have more going on with their finances than just this property.

    If the town is knowingly involved in an overvaluation scheme then they would be complicit in the tax fraud. This type of donation is common for schools and non-profits To protect both parties from IRS problems a certified appraisal is standard to justify the value of the donation.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. All this goes on as the Town of Normal’s economy crashes and burns like Minneapolis’s downtown?

    It is going to be fun to watch these clowns try to deal with their economy spirally downward.

    With HCC proposing to do most of their classes online in the fall and this:

    Colleges Could Lose 20% of Students

    And Rivian is at least 2 years away from making their truck?

    As Tesla prepares to build, market and sell their truck?

    Nothing here to worry about Pam? Business (corruption) as usual?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Reece will continue building her resume at the expense of taxpayers. She will get her quarter million per year salary, tri-annual raises and lifetime pension. She has absolutely nothing to loose financially by curtailing her spending frenzy. That the mayor and council continue to endorse the opulence is our fault for voting these people in office for so long. Shame on us.

    Liked by 2 people

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