Normal: Should you expect property tax rate increases?

By: Diane Benjamin

The answer to that question might lie in the Financial Trends and Conditions Reported presented at Tuesday’s Normal Town Council meeting:

Pensions costs continue to increase and police and fire pension funding level decreased. IMRF is only well funded because they don’t put up with underfunding. (It also covers everybody else – the “professional staff”)

So, how does Normal fund pensions – by their choice? Future property tax projections are favorable since property values are increasing. Normal can keep the rate the same in the future and still collect more money because you will be paying more on your new assessed value.

The problem is how will they increase payments to the police and fire pensions this year – based on last years assessed values?

The comparison above to other cities wasn’t included by accident. I wonder if a rate increase will be justified because the Town has proven you aren’t paying your fair share:

The Equalized Assessed Value didn’t increase enough in 2020 to “offset increases in expenditures”.

When this discussion takes place, this is a slide that won’t be mentioned.

The TOTAL property tax rate in Normal is HIGHER than:

Bloomington and Springfield and Champaign, most likely because of Unit 5:

Take the time to look at the entire report. Most of the Town Council worships it.

Keep in mind Normal choses to fund pensions with property taxes, they don’t have to.

From the packet for last Tuesday: PDF page 66

Notice none of that surplus got assigned to funding pensions. “Project reserve”? Hum, I can’t imagine what project they are going to fund instead of public safety.







9 thoughts on “Normal: Should you expect property tax rate increases?

  1. We aren’t paying our fair share. The same reasoning the ISBE gives for failing schools. And they have the charts and graphs just like normal gov has.

    Couch Potato governance.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. From what I heard at the financial presentation, the increase in pension costs is caused by actuarial adjustments. People are living longer almost every year. The only exception in decades is caused by covid-19. I believe Covid caused an exception for a year. The problem is that the Town and most governments have not changed the age at which an employee can retire. Therefore retirees are collecting pensions for more years than when the actuarial tables were created.
    Recall everyone was able to collect full Social Security benefits at age 65 from inception. Now that has moved up to 66 and 67 for younger aged cohorts. Recall that retired Normal Police chiefs have take similar positions in other states receiving their full retirement benefits from Normal while taking a similar job in another state. They can retire, but are young enough to take a similarly stressful and demanding job in another community.
    I believe Bill Gleason, Bloomington’s City Manager is receiving full police retirement benefits from Pekin and getting paid about $200,000 per year by Bloomington with no pension penalty. Because government employees can retire at full pension at a relatively young age, should they live into their 80’s or about 30 years beyond their retirement, the government entity will pay them more in retirement than the approximate 30 years they worked for the government. Retire young, receive a 3% pension increase yearly, and a government employee will be paid about the same amount over each 30 years. The above scenario is nearly impossible to duplicate in the private sector. The only solution to government financial problems is to raise taxes. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never been a fan of compassionate conservatism because it implies conservatives are not compassionate. Nonetheless, “Compassionate Conservative” does raise some valid points in this much needed and neglected discussion.

      I do not believe it is compassionate to allow government to continue the nonsense of a public pension crisis, specifically what we see in Illinois. This blogger has pointed out the excesses, abuses and unsustainability of it. It’s a system in desperate need of repair, yet elected officials continue to dodge the issue by passing tax increases. If this were the answer to the problem than Normal’s pension mess should have been fixed years ago. Instead it’s gotten worse.

      I utterly reject that “the only solution to government financial problems is to raise taxes.” That’s government’s fix to the problem and we the people must demand it stop and demand accountability from our elected representatives. Next time you see Dan Brady at a parade near you, ask him what he’s doing to fix our pension mess in Illinois. That’s a sure fire way of getting Dan to go away. That’s because he too is vested in it and we’re stupid enough to believe that vested politicians are going to fix it for the people who are being taxed to pay for it.

      Meanwhile back in Normal, where Dan Brady rents an office for $1, it’s a matter of misplaced priorities. They don’t seem to understand that there are other ways to pay pension obligations than through a property tax levy. But, it’s hard to find the money when you’re trying to fund underpasses that come with a blank check to the developers because we really don’t know how much it’s going to cost. More than the estimates, but hopefully less than the money already spent on grant application fees. It’s this kind of nonsense that we’re trusting to reform a broken pension system. Worse yet, they have the power to raise your taxes.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. RR,
        Good points! Compassion to the leftist is taking care of problems in the immediate without considering if they will solve the problem long term. Compassion to the conservative is considering the whole problem and even if it means difficulty in the immediate the real solution is to consider the long term. I’ve always like the Aesop fable about the ants and the grasshopper. Nowadays its hard to find an unadulterated version that Disney made in the 30’s but here it is.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Of course taxes will go up in Normal. Voters re-elected the same tax and spend nitwits. I have never seen RINOs Preston or Lorenz make any effort to curtail waste. Nord is the only one I have seen fight for taxpayers, but he is alone.

    Liked by 3 people

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