Hey Unit 5 – jackpot ahead

By: Diane Benjamin

The Town of Normal has been hauling in money from the Uptown TIF. It isn’t nearly enough to pay off the debt they racked up with their vision, but their pot of gold ends in 2026 and Unit 5 will be a huge beneficiary.

Unit 5 needs to know how much they will be getting before asking citizens to fork over more money. History proves once Unit 5 gets their hands on the Uptown gold they will spend it. If a referendum passes they won’t be issuing refunds after 2026 or reducing property taxes.

This document is from the McLean County Assessor’s website. It shows how much Normal pocketed last year:

A TIF accumulates money based on rising property values which means increasing property taxes. Until 2026 this amount will likely continue to increase making even more money available. Until the TIF expires Normal gets to keep the money. After the TIF dies this money will be divided up among all the taxing bodies listed on property tax bills in the district, Unit 5 receiving the most.

This is a random property tax bill in Normal:

61.1% of this total bill went to Unit 5.

That means Unit 5 will be collecting at least another $1,627,311 when the TIF expires.

Make sure the School Board knows the facts before demanding property taxes get raised. Taxes are already causing people to flee Illinois. Unit 5 will likely benefit from new construction and rising property values in their district too.

I wonder what happened to the money Unit 5 saved not running buses when school was remote? Janitor staff? Other?

Every other taxing body listed on Normal tax bills will get an increase too. The Town has 4 other TIFs that will eventually expire. Of course they might create a new one for Uptown 2.0.

Normal’s other TIFs – property taxes generated last year:

expires 2031

Expires 2031

Expires 2036

Expires 2032









4 thoughts on “Hey Unit 5 – jackpot ahead

  1. My guess is that because of the bussing contract that they continued to pay First Student even with busses not running. Something tells me the district didn’t think of a pandemic clause or other clause that would allow for suspension of payments. The same with continuing to pay all employees. I’m sure if those payments were cut off, the federal gov’t or state would have bailed them out and taxpayers would have been on the hook regardless.

    The hope would be during the closure that projects were done in a way that would lessen the need for additional paid summer help or costly vendors. Any deep cleaning or painting or other projects should have been completed during that time. The same that bussing costs would decline because wear and tear on the busses would be spread out over a longer time.

    Insurance companies, especially the local ones, have refunds/dividends and dropped rates. I doubt First Student did that nor U5 or D87 pursued it.


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