Bloomington’s 3 TIFs

By: Diane Benjamin

In case you forgot what a TIF is or never knew:

Tax Increment Financing is meant to provide money for developers or reimburse government for investments in a blighted area.

Money is generated by the increase in property values after the redevelopment. Government gets to keep the increase for 23 years – until the TIF expires. An extension can be requested.

Bloomington has 3 TIFs:


Downtown East Washington:

Since it’s inception in 2018 it has produced $775. Bloomington spent almost twice that on legal fees establishing it.

The TIF is mostly redevelopment of the old Junior High School on Washington. The City bought 404 E Washington for $94,909, I have no idea what they are doing with it. The City still owns it, it’s generating no income.

Since the TIF reports show the EAV almost doubling it should be generating more money.


Downtown Southeast:

This TIF started in 2016 and has produced $13,455. The TIF is underwater by $365,499, part of that is due to infrastructure on Front St. A picture of the TIF area is on 17. The report only shows expenses of $139,690, I don’t see where the rest of the negative balance came from. The EAV has only increased around $100,000. 6 years has little to show for this project.


Empire Street Corridor:

This one started in 2016, to date it has produced $1,186,275. The TIF covers the Colonial Plaza/Empire Crossing shopping Center (K-Mart), the hotel, and improvements to Fairway Dr. Parts of the Route 9 area to the west are also included. Bloomington spent $1,815,358 in total according to PDF page 10.

Start reading at PDF page 16. Since Pritzker shut down businesses in March of 2020, sales didn’t meet the agreement’s thresholds for reimbursement of expenses. The City had to amend the agreement.

The EAV has increased almost $4,00,000.

TIF reporting makes it easy to play with the numbers. Normal makes it easy to see what they left out, the above are more difficult. Since only 1 of the 3 appears to be successful more should be avoided. Incentives can be given based on results, like rebating taxes. Green Top is still getting them:





One thought on “Bloomington’s 3 TIFs

  1. Diane,The former Jr. High on East Washington is now an apartment complex.  I believe it is low income, government subsidized housing, but don’t repeat until you can verify it with Bloomington Housing Authority or other appropriate entity.  I occasionally pick up a rider there for Faith In Action to take them to a medical appointment.  FIA provides rides to those over 60 to those who cannot drive or cannot afford a vehicle. Ron PS: this is most enjoyable charitable service that I have ever volunteered for and the riders are all very gracious and most have had interesting lives.  The ride is a joy for both of us. 

    Liked by 1 person

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