By: Diane Benjamin
Remember when the Local Sales Tax Rate increased back on 1/1/2016? This is what Bloomington residents were told it was for: https://www.bloomingtonil.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/9197/636130888246430000
PDF Page 2:
This year the City of Bloomington budgeted $7.2 million for streets and sidewalks: https://www.bloomingtonil.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/26008/637508827017530000
The Local Motor Fuel Tax projected revenue this year is $4.1 million. https://www.bloomingtonil.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/28561/638022024003730000
Bloomington received $13,386,924 in ARPA funds, $9,000,000 was allocated to infrastructure. Water and Sewer were designated for some those funds, the Council was considering allocating $4,000,000 to concrete and asphalt back in May: https://blnnews.com/2022/05/18/bloomington-roads-history-and-the-american-rescue-plan-money/
$7.2 million every year isn’t nearly enough to even get close to a fair rating for all roads. See the link above.
Passing a 1% Sales Tax and an .08 Local Motor Fuel Tax should have supplemented your tax money already spent on roads, unfortunately in 2000 it was ZERO. (Also see link above) The actual spending is much closer to ONLY spending the additional taxes raised by increases than supplementing concrete and asphalt with taxes you already paid.
Tax increases OFTEN just give the City more money to spend on other things. They quit spending from the General Fund and use the new money instead.
Think solid waste – it used to be funded only from the General Fund until it wasn’t. Fees this year are expected to generate $8,237,505. Years ago money to collect and dispose of garbage came from the General Fund, now it comes through fees you pay monthly. The General Fund spending didn’t decrease, spending was just diverted.
Your other taxes never go down, they are just provide money for other projects.
The chart below is just interesting. Since Normal and Bloomington don’t want to compete against each other on tax rates, all of these are likely the same there. This chart was published in 2015 when the 1% Sales Tax increase was proposed. It’s hard to keep track, but I don’t think any of these have increased since that Tax passed.
Think about the money local governments are raking in every time you eat out or buy a case a beer. They even make money from the BCPA and Coliseum tickets. The expected Amusement Tax revenue this year is a little over $1,000,000. That money goes in the General Fund for nothing specific. I guess we can say that helps cover the losses at both, most of the revenue doesn’t come from either however.