Dueling Housing Data

By: Diane Benjamin Yesterday I was sent a Bloomington-Normal Housing Analysis that is dated April of 2022. Note: the source is NPR. You can see it here: https://npr.brightspotcdn.com/69/5d/501447894b7cb83e9117e436d098/bloomington-normal-housing-analysis-white-paper-april-2022.pdf I stopped reading it at PDF page 9 because there is a huge problem! Note the McLean County Regional Planning Commission is listed on PDF page 2 […]

Tiny Normal had more bond debt than Bloomington

By: Diane Benjamin I’m sure this debt comparison is temporary since Bloomington is going on a spending spree (not to fix the roads). According to the Illinois Comptroller’s website – Bond Debt: Bloomington as of 4/30/2023: Normal as of 3/31/2023: The Uptown TIF ends in 2026 meaning Normal’s taxpayers will be paying off the debt […]

Normal’s 4 Year tax history

By: Diane Benjamin The first thing to notice from the charts below is Normal doesn’t provide the detail Bloomington does. The first chart is from PDF page 28: https://www.normalil.gov/DocumentCenter/View/19327/Annual-Comprehensive-Financial-Report-21-FINAL-DOC?bidId= The second chart is from PDF page 26: https://www.normalil.gov/DocumentCenter/View/23148/Annual-Comprehensive-Financial-Report-23-FINAL-DOC Below is also a recap of a few. Normal revenue is up $29.5 million in 4 years. […]

Bloomington tax 4 year history

By: Diane Benjamin Below are 2 charts from the Bloomington Financial Statements that show Revenue over 4 years. The first chart is on PDF page 25: https://www.bloomingtonil.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/27129/637709284831130000 The second chart is on PDF page 24: https://www.bloomingtonil.gov/home/showdocument?id=29768&t=638343020405529919 There is a lot of data on these charts, this is a recap of a few. Keep in mind […]

Taxes are Theft, many criminals are elected

By: Diane Benjamin Every year Normal claims property taxes have to increase to fund pensions. Last night the Council did it again. Only one person showed up to speak at the Public Hearing. Meanwhile the Cost of Living here is rising dramatically because every unit of government sees $$$$ they can steal. https://www.bnbiz.org/coli

3 Things you need to know

By: Diane Benjamin 1) Don’t forget Tri-Valley is raising property taxes 5 days before Christmas: 2) Bloomington had planned to meet tonight and next Monday to avoid Christmas. Tonight’s meeting has been canceled. Maybe raising taxes 2 meetings in a row had the alderman’s phone ringing too much. I wonder if next Monday Gleason will […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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%, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Comptroller’s office finally tells the truth

By: Diane Benjamin More on these two stories: https://blnnews.com/2023/11/07/illinois-comptroller-must-have-decided-to-void-transparency/ https://blnnews.com/2023/11/09/comptrollers-office-responded-just-not-with-an-explanation/ As I stated in one of the stories above, government employees would rather talk to me over the phone instead of in writing. That eliminates the paper trail, the email below proves it: On November 9, 2023, at 3:41 PM, “Pallasch, Abdon” <[email protected]> wrote: Hmmm… […]

Comptroller’s office responded, just not with an explanation

By: Diane Benjamin Follow-up to this story: https://blnnews.com/2023/11/07/illinois-comptroller-must-have-decided-to-void-transparency/ I didn’t send that story to them, somebody must have or they found the “tag”. I received an email yesterday: . I didn’t use an email address because the on-line contact form doesn’t have one. See it here: https://illinoiscomptroller.gov/about/contact-us/phone-mailing-addresses I rarely make phone calls because I want […]

Hear a sucking sound from the BCPA?

By: Diane Benjamin That is the sound of your tax dollars disappearing – $25,120. Figure out government isn’t capable of “business type” activities? Losses don’t matter because it isn’t their money. Loss: $5,423.36 Loss: $9,967.73 I hope that wasn’t paid twice – it is listed on page 145 and again on 151: https://www.bloomingtonil.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/29818 Loss: $14,131.85 […]