By: Diane Benjamin
The second installment of your property taxes are due on 9/17. The check you will be writing is higher because of many things, but a BIG one is Tax Increment Financing. TIF’s
The Uptown TIF is Normal’s huge one. The 2020 comprehensive report isn’t available yet, so I have to use the 2019 report filed with the Illinois Comptroller. https://files.illinoiscomptroller.gov/LocGovTIF/FY2019/06409531/19TIF06409531Downtown_volpment_1.pdf
Keep reading, explaining this isn’t easy!
The value of the Uptown properties before redevelopment was $14,669,476. As of 3/31/2019 the value was $41,774,299. Impressive until you find out Normal bonded somewhere close to $100,000,000 to achieve the increase. Paying that back could easily cost 50% more. The increment in 2019 was the difference, $41,774,299 – $14,669,476 = $27,104,823.
How are your property taxes affected?
In theory your property taxes should be going down because of the increase in property values in Uptown. Those shiny new buildings not owned by the Town of Normal should be contributing to the tax base. They aren’t because all that increase goes to the Uptown TIF for decades (23 years) to hopefully pay off the debt. (Hint: It won’t pay it off)
Worse, to recreate Uptown, Normal bought lots of properties and torn them down to build new. That took many properties off the property tax rolls because government owned is exempt. YOU have to pay more to make up the difference because fewer properties are contributing. Normal also built buildings like the Children’s Discovery Museum and parking garages which don’t pay any property taxes. The properties that were there did!
BNWRD (Bloomington Normal Water Reclamation District) sends me their packet every month. This was included for the September 14th meeting where they will set the tax rate for next year:
BNWRD needs “X” property tax dollars. To calculate the rate to get “X” they start with the EAV and subtract the TIF increment. They subtracted over $44 million – more than $27 million is just Uptown. Bloomington: The BNWRD rates you, so Uptown costs you money too.
If the value of other properties don’t increase every year, BNWRD has to increase the rate to compensate for the properties Normal removed from the tax rolls. BNWRD won’t share in the increased property values until the TIF ends. Normal has extended part of the TIF past the original 23 years.
Now look at your tax bill. There is a long list of taxing bodies. EVERY one of them had to increase rates to compensate for the properties in the Uptown TIF that are no longer giving them tax dollars.
None of those taxing bodies will share in increased property tax receipts until at least 2026 when part of the TIF ends. The debt won’t be paid by then, ask Mayor Koos who is going to pay the bonds and interest when TIF money ends?
Let’s see if property taxes go down when part of this one TIF ends. When all the increased value property taxes are distributed to other taxing bodies like Unit 5 and BNWRD the rate should go down.
Don’t hold your breath.
If this lost you, please ask questions!