By: Diane Benjamin
All the Financial Information for the Town of Normal is now posted on the Comptroller’s website. It includes reports on the FIVE TIF districts. This site is for citizens because they are in a much easier to read format.
The reports used to be easy to find, the Democrat Comptroller redesigned the site making it much harder.
Click on: Select Report Name, from the list choose Annual Financial Reports
Hit Search. One final step – type in Normal. The Town of Normal will then pop up. Hit GO.
The TIF reports are separate from the other Financial data. I urge everyone to go there! More stories coming on that data.
Start with the Uptown TIF. I downloaded it for you:
The theory of TIF’s is spend money to increase property values, then use the increase in tax receipts generated to pay off the debt.
Last year the TIF generated $2,563,470 + $9,460 in interest.
It sounds good until you look at what that covered:
- Administration fees of $66,053
- Payment to MCP Uptown Owner LLC of $243,777
- Principal payments of $745,059
- Interest payments of $1,312,209
- Rebates to developers of $46,209
Total expenses: $2,413,307
It still looks good since expenses were covered by revenue.
Now jump to PDF page 8. The TIF is ($38,553,412) in the red.
The TIF was start in 2003. The majority of it only lasts 23 years. That means Normal is running out of time to dig themselves out of that $38,553,312 hole. Collecting less than $3 million a year isn’t going to pay off the accumulated debt. When the revenue is distributed to all the taxing districts who have yet to share in the increase values who do you think is going to get the bills?
Now jump to PDF page 10. Chris Koos will declare victory because his Uptown plan created private investment of $96,973,000.
Will he also say YOU invested $59,170,956?
All of the TIF projects are listed on that page and the one following.
Note: The Hyatt and 1 Uptown Circle are NOT included because they didn’t receive any TIF money, That means the taxpayer’s investment on those properties came out of the General Fund. The rent for the second floor of 1 Uptown does too. The empty first floor is generating no revenue to offset any of the costs. More details here: https://blnnews.com/2020/04/02/uptown-something-easy-to-understand/
The question Koos needs to answer:
When most of the TIF increment ends (2026), who is going to pay off the bills remaining?