Everybody is raising property taxes – because they can

By: Diane Benjamin PDF page 3: https://www.normalil.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/4825 Normal is required to hold a Public Hearing. The norm is nobody shows up to speak. Thus citizens get the government they deserve: After a few to none show up to protest this fleece, the Council will vote to approve taking more of your money.

The email some Bloomington staff didn’t want you to see.

By: Diane Benjamin Before the Council voted to raise your property taxes, The City Clerk made a reference to an emailed Public Comment. Later in that meeting Alderman Sheila Montney referenced the same email. I FOIA’d that email. Staff tried to tell me it was exempt from disclosure. It isn’t. They obviously need training in […]

Fritzen Case still alive

By: Diane Benjamin Jeff Fritzen’s case against the Town of Normal and High Haven is still active. Fritzen claims Normal code does not allow reconsideration of a special use permit for a year after it was rejected. The Normal council had rejected High Haven’s application but with a few changes the council then approved it […]

Does this make clear what’s happening in McLean County?

By: Diane Benjamin All those light tan blocks have declining Personal Income. Are all units of local government now taxing you to death because they understand the gig is up? Go back to this story: https://blnnews.com/2023/11/30/why-bloomington/ Normal admits their population is decreasing. I don’t know where their income numbers came from, they claim the Bureau […]

Why Bloomington?

By: Diane Benjamin Below are 3 charts from financial statements. The first one is BNWRD, then Bloomington, then Normal. All 3 show Per Capita Income obtained from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. If you’ve never heard of that office, it was founded by a Republican: Richard Nixon. Home page: https://www.bea.gov/ Look close at the reports. […]

Want to know a secret?

By: Diane Benjamin You already know it if you read this story: https://blnnews.com/2023/11/29/connect-transit-wants-you-to-love-them/ The whole messaging campaign is supposed to be a secret until they develop some slogan EVERYONE can repeat over and over and over. They want a planned rollout. I bet you can’t wait to see how they counter all the “disinformation”. (like […]

Bunn Street Transfer Station TODAY

By: Diane Benjamin If you want to speak at this meeting you will have to threaten the County with contacting the Illinois Attorney General because they are violating your rights to address your government! (1st Amendment) They expect you to provide 24 hour notice, of course that provides them with 24 hours to counter whatever […]

Connect Transit wants you to love them

By: Diane Benjamin Remember yesterday’s story where I told you the next Bloomington City Manager and Council can take the extra “enhanced revenue” and use it for things this Council didn’t pass? In other words, new people ignore what previous people did. The Connect Transit Board meeting last night proved that. The new General Manager […]

Bloomington MIGHT take more than 1 story:

By: Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington is looking for Revenue Enhancements. Cute words that mean they need more of your money. It’s hilarious that government has their own language so you don’t notice what is being done to you. The same government that built a never used fire station and a never used water […]

Coliseum still isn’t paid for

By: Diane Benjamin The Coliseum opened April 1, 2006 – more than 17 years ago. It still isn’t paid for. https://www.bloomingtonil.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/29854 The city just paid INTEREST only: $317,771.25. Of course all the interest paid in 17 years wasn’t included in the cost to build it. Just to be clear, the City of Bloomington expects you […]

Tax until nobody is left to tax

By: Diane Benjamin If you thought Unit 5 was bad, wait for the City of Bloomington! They are projecting ending the year with $51 million in reserves. Inflation has been devastating to citizens, credit card debt is record high. Government is fine, you aren’t. If Tim Gleason didn’t have the votes for this it wouldn’t […]

Proof Unit 5 abuses taxpayers

By: Diane Benjamin Below is another chart from the BNWRD financial statements. Since the source is the Economic Development Council, all local governments have the same information: Unit 5 has almost 300 more employees now than they had in 2014. That would make sense is they had more students. They don’t! https://blnnews.com/2023/11/01/unit-5-has-lost-1447-students-since-2016/ For the 2013-2014 […]

Here’s your answer from yesterday

By: Diane Benjamin Yesterday I found these two charts that are problematic: I cut the sources off the next one so I can make it bigger: (See them here: https://blnnews.com/2023/11/24/notice-anything-wrong-with-this-chart/) Both of these are from the documentation for the November 13, 2023 BNWARD meeting. You won’t find it on-line, they email it to me every […]

McLean County will be forced to change their Public Comment policy – FINALLY

By: Diane Benjamin I’ve been waiting years for someone to file with the Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access division concerning their policies. Public Comment is Freedom of Speech and a 1st Amendment Right to address grievances with YOUR government. McLean County thinks you need to give them 24 hours notice if you want to speak. […]

Connect Transit has secrets

By: Diane Benjamin The agenda for meetings has to be posted 48 hours in advance – Open Meetings Act. Maybe everyone is taking time off, but the agenda for the 11/28 meeting is posted now. That is at least a week early: https://connect-transit.com/file/1982/11%2028%202023_BoT%20Meeting%20Packet.pdf Here is just one of likely many secrets: The secret is the […]

Tri-Valley taxpayers: The Board is planning to steal your money

By: Diane Benjamin Don’t fall for “the rate is slightly lower”. Your assessed value is MUCH higher making a lower rate obvious. Can you afford another 8.66% added to what you already pay? Planning to show up? The room is small – force them to move to a larger space. When is enough enough? If […]

Bloomington’s Greed

By: Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington wants $1.1 million more from you, the library wants $309.4 thousand more all while your government is sitting on RECORD high reserves. Of course they use the same graphic as every other year to show they aren’t why property taxes chase people out of Illinois: It appears every […]

$51 million in reserves, raise taxes anyway

By: Diane Benjamin $51,000,000 is expected to be in the City coffers at year end. They have big plans to spend your money, none of that money can be used to pay for essential spending like Public Safety pensions. Your taxes are going up to fund them. The vote last night was temporary, the final […]

Mollie: Words do matter

By: Diane Benjamin Last night’s Bloomington City Council meeting will take more than one story. Did Mollie read the packet? The discussion was about the library levy – from the packet: A 4.93% increase is a tax increase. Alderman Mollie Ward wants you to know it isn’t. The library only captured part of the increased […]

Coliseum freeloaders

By: Diane Benjamin Pic H/T a reader Since I try to never cross Veterans Parkway, I didn’t know State Farm was on the sign at the “arena”. I FOIA’d the City for the sponsorship agreement with State Farm, Grossinger quit paying years ago: ¬†https://blnnews.com/2023/03/14/grossinger-motors-arena-isnt-and-more/ The agreement with State Farm expired in May, the FOIA showed […]

Bloomington tonight: Property Taxes

By: Diane Benjamin Agenda for tonight: https://d3n9y02raazwpg.cloudfront.net/cityblm/65c0e1b9-7cc2-11ee-852f-0050569183fa-d969cfc2-89f9-4a31-922c-c0ff80c0370c-1700256371.pdf Remember being told local government units don’t set the Tax Rate? They don’t, but the documentation proves they know what it is going to be. Start reading on PDF page 21. Your taxes are going up to fund police and fire pensions. The rate will go down because […]

3 things you need to know

By: Diane Benjamin 1) Did the City of Bloomington really tell the Salvation Army they can’t use mats so homeless have a place to sleep on cold nights because it’s too dangerous? People can shelter there but they won’t be allowed to sleep. Is sleeping more dangerous or being non-productive all winter because sleeping isn’t […]

Unit 5 – you elected them

By: Diane Benjamin WGLT story on Unit 5 property taxes: https://www.wglt.org/local-news/2023-11-16/unit-5-proposes-151m-tax-levy-but-plans-to-lower-tax-rate Your property taxes are going up because Unit 5 needs the money. Below is a quote showing the mentality of the people you elected: People buy homes to live in. It doesn’t matter how much more your house is worth if you aren’t planning […]

Public Servants that aren’t a priority

By: Diane Benjamin More from the Comptroller’s data, see links to the data in this story: https://blnnews.com/2023/11/16/surprise-surprise-comptroller-suddenly-has-the-data/ IMRF pension funding is all employees that aren’t police and fire: Bloomington: IMRF: 89.6% funded, surprisingly down from 111.8% Police: 56.6%, down from 62.2% Fire: 57.1%, down from 62.9% Normal: IMRF: 86.0% funded, down from 106.2% Police: 49%, […]

Surprise surprise-Comptroller suddenly has the data

By: Diane Benjamin Of course the data is now close to moldy. Normal’s is from 3/31/23, Bloomington’s is from 4/30/23. Funny how they both appeared on the same day. Yesterday. Blomington’s TIF reports are now available too. Links to the reports – Easy to read data which is why it wasn’t available until now: https://tinyurl.com/Bloomington4-23 […]

Did the City of Bloomington make a campaign contribution?

By: Diane Benjamin Tax dollars, actually fake money that doesn’t really exist, was given out for this: I appreciate the local democrats publicly saying they got improvements with tax dollars. Your landlord invested in the PARTY? Taxpayers did but they never agreed! I hope the rent went up substantially. Do democrats know the Feds spent […]

When the left turns on the left

By: Diane Benjamin In case you missed it, pro-Palatine protestors crashed the annual Democrat meeting at ISU: https://www.25newsnow.com/2023/11/11/protestors-crash-mclean-county-democratic-fundraising-dinner/?outputType=amp I doubt County Board member Krystle Able has ever studied Karl Marx, but she supports his policies anyway: Hint Krystle: Marx was a disgusting human being who lived off other people. He was widely rejected during his […]

Bloomington’s short meeting

By: Diane Benjamin The regular agenda had NOTHING on it, the Consent Agenda was passed without any discussion. Since the City doesn’t want controversy at meetings, the two on one meetings held before the Council meets are used to pacify objectors. The video of the meeting is slightly over an hour, half of that was […]

Congrats Bloomington, your property taxes will go up

By: Diane Benjamin City Manager Tim Gleason announced at last night’s meeting that next week’s Committee of the Whole is being turning into a special meeting to talk property taxes. He of course used the obligatory fallacy that the City portion of your tax bill is small, it’s the school districts that get the most […]

Bloomington goes Hollywood

By: Diane Benjamin This must be an effort to reach younger people who troll YouTube videos. Bloomington has their own upcoming YouTube star, this isn’t the only video by “Mose” Rickey. All of them are short, perfect for short attention spans. “Mose” (Paul) Rickey provides an entertaining performance. See the City YouTube channel for more […]

Bloomington: Laws don’t apply to us

By: Diane Benjamin There isn’t much on the agenda for tonight’s meeting, just one gem. PDF page 21: https://d3n9y02raazwpg.cloudfront.net/cityblm/25a8ec96-7d4f-11ed-9024-0050569183fa-d854eb82-3702-4140-9de6-ac3a8e3f379d-1699838465.pdf The Illinois Paid Leave for All Workers Act (820 ILCS 192/1 et seq.) was signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker on March 13, 2023. Bloomington is using Home Rule as the reason for opting out […]

Is Normal getting paid to destroy quiet single family house neighborhoods?

By: Diane Benjamin See this link directly from the White House: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2023/03/09/fact-sheet-president-bidens-budget-lowers-housing-costs-and-expands-access-to-affordable-rent-and-home-ownership/ One excerpt: Restrictive zoning means not allowing multi-family housing in established single-family neighborhoods. Biden is willing to pay LOCAL government for EQUITY. So how much is Normal planning to collect to change the zoning at Beech and Shelbourne? Since no one currently elected […]

I’m not fighting YOUR fights – You have to

By: Diane Benjamin McLean County is already planning to massively raise your property taxes. Every other unit of government might be making the same plans, after all your property values increased substantially – you can afford it right? If you don’t stand up for yourself IN PERSON they will take more of your money. Emails […]