Normal’s Uptown TIF report, finally

By: Diane Benjamin The Uptown TIF report was not published with the other 4 TIF reports on the Comptroller’s website because it had errors and was returned to Normal for corrections. That information comes directly from an employee at the Comptroller’s office, she didn’t tell me what errors. You can see the report here: […]

Why hasn’t Normal produced it?

By: Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal’s year end was 4/30/2022. Shouldn’t all required reports be completed by now? It’s been over 7 months! One report is still missing: The missing report is for the Uptown TIF. It isn’t “missing” because Redevelopment is spelled wrong, it’s always been spelled wrong. Illinois Comptroller – Town of […]

Town of Normal Pension reports don’t match

By: Diane Benjamin Last September the Financial Trends Report was presented at a Council meeting. See it here: IMRF funding was reported on PDF page 45 at 106.2%. IMRF funds all pensions except Police and Fire. Fire Pension Funding was reported at 56.15% funded – PDF page 44. Police Pension Funding was reported at […]

Too late Bloomington

By: Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington’s year end was 4/30/2021. The financial statements have yet to be released. If they were a corporation with investors they would all be fired, but they are government so it’s fine. Luckily they also have to submit information to the Illinois Comptroller’s office. Bloomington’s information is available there! […]

Shrinking Bloomington

By: Diane Benjamin Below is the data reported to the Illinois Comptroller’s office by the City of Bloomington. Bloomington hasn’t released their 4/30/2020 financial statements to the public yet – just to the Comptroller who makes them available to everyone. 4/30/2020: 4/30/2019 Population dropped 632 in just one year. Meanwhile full-time employees increased by 7. […]

Dying to know? Bloomington Debt!

By: Diane Benjamin $270,944,173 Again this year Bloomington’s finances are on the Illinois Comptroller’s site BEFORE the City gets around to releasing the CAFR (financial statements). The fiscal year ended 4/30/2020 – almost 6 months ago. Why rush? What do they show? Bond Debt: 47,780,000  IMRF pension debt: 12,821,451 Police Pension Debt: 77,693,023 Fire Pension […]

One Normal Place TIF proves fake news is easy

By: Diane Benjamin I downloaded the TIF report for you. See yesterday’s story for directions on how to look up information on the Comptroller’s website yourself: This story will prove TIF reports can say whatever the Town of Normal wants them to say. When a TIF doesn’t generate enough money to pay the bills, […]

Normal Pay Attention: Uptown TIF Report

By: Diane Benjamin All the Financial Information for the Town of Normal is now posted on the Comptroller’s website. It includes reports on the FIVE TIF districts. This site is for citizens because they are in a much easier to read format. The reports used to be easy to find, the Democrat Comptroller redesigned the […]

The Normal cover-up

By:  Diane Benjamin One more thing happened at Monday’s Normal Town Council meeting that you need to see. First, some background.  Both Bloomington and Normal have decided in recent years to write minutes that don’t reflect exactly what happens at meetings.  If citizens want to research something that happened a year ago and don’t know […]

Lots of Bloomington numbers you need to see

By:  Diane Benjamin Tomorrow night the City of Bloomington is finally going to release the financial statements for the year that ended SEVEN months ago.  The only reason they are releasing them is because the data is already available on the Comptroller’s website. Interesting reporting: The previous year they reported this: Population is dropping while […]

Normal Township’s fuzzy math

See the comments, they borrowed money.  More debt!   By:  Diane Benjamin Continuing this story from yesterday: The WAREHOUSE was created by the Illinois Comptroller’s office to give citizens access to local government financial information.  It is much easier to read than whatever local units of government call financial statements.  It would be a […]

How is Normal’s Uptown TIF?

By:  Diane Benjamin Note:  This information is now 1 year old.  The Illinois comptrollers office finally got around to setting up the structure to enter this data. Uptown TIF: The TIF was organized in 2003.  The 2016 report showed positive cash flow of $2,967.  2015 showed a positive $44. TIF theory states increased property tax receipts […]

Have some fun HERE

By:  Diane Benjamin I reported yesterday about the Comptroller’s Warehouse website.  The Bloomington information from last year is available there when the City hasn’t bothered to release it to you yet. I found a fun page that recaps all expenditures in a succinct format that’s easy to understand.  Want to know where your money goes?  […]

Transparent? Illegal? All of the Above?

By:  Diane Benjamin When the new and re-elected members of the City Council were sworn it last May 1st, no agenda was posted: If you watch the video, Tari called the meeting to order anyway, see it here: This is the meeting where an illegal oath of office was given.  Now that the City […]

Past Due TIF Reports?

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday I did two stories on past due Tax Increment Financing reports: First:  It is ridiculous the citizens have to wait over 6 months after a year-end for financial information. Second:  If you look under Finance on both the Bloomington and Normal websites, there are NO links to TIF reports.  […]

The Budget Workshop that wasn’t

By:  Diane Benjamin Thanks to Steve Vogel who today mentioned in his weekly column that Bloomington is in a recession.  Moody’s Analytics  reported that in January (and so did I), but the media has been ignoring it. Anyone who attended the Bloomington “Budget Workshop” today would have seen Bloomington is also ignoring that fact.  If […]

Bloomington hasn’t responded

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve written for months about Bloomington NOT making their financial statements public yet from almost a year ago.  In fact, very little financial information has been released, Renner’s transparency claims are now ridiculous. The City was required to submit this information to the Illinois Comptroller’s office.  The year ended 4/30/2016, but with […]


By:  Diane Benjamin All of the information below is from the Illinois Comptroller’s website.  See it HERE Would you invest in a company that fails to issue Financial Reports? Why would anybody invest in Bloomington – they haven’t issued last year’s statements yet.  Tonight there will be a presentation on how this year is going […]

The fines for Bloomington’s Past Due reports

By:  Diane Benjamin This is an update to yesterday’s story: Bloomington has two reports that are now past due at the Comptroller’s office.  Last night a guy from that office called me after I requested information. First, one of the reports is a TIF report.  If the City is trying to use the excuse […]

Is past due now costing you?

See UPDATE: HERE By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington is required to file the Annual Report and TIF reports with the Illinois Comptroller’s office. See this message on the Comptroller’s website for Bloomington:     Source The original due date was in October, the City filed for an extension until 12/26/2016. They missed the deadline and […]

Connect Transit Lunacy (Part 2)

By:  Diane Benjamin See Part 1 here: See the Board packet here:  November-22-2016-regular-board-packet Below is a few items paid in September and October. Remember, they knew by this time the State of Illinois was late paying them and they were in danger of running out of money. I have no idea what a Vault […]

Connect Transit lunacy (Part 1)

By:  Diane Benjamin The October Connect transit meeting was held earlier than usual, so financial information wasn’t available.  The November meeting was held on 11/22, it includes reports from September and October. See the packet here:   November-22-2016-regular-board-packet Start here: Page 32 of packet. Then this one:   Page 27 of the packet I think it’s […]

Mike James: Another job you AREN’T doing!

By:  Diane Benjamin Various reports MUST be filed by law with the Illinois Comptroller.  Mike (laws don’t matter) James has failed to file the Downs annual report and two TIF reports.  TIF’s under corrupt leadership can be used as a slush fund to hand money to friends.  Is that why they aren’t filed Mr. Mayor? […]

Allin Fire: Was 2015 report correct?

By:  Diane Benjamin Below is the debt report Allin Fire Protection District made to the Illinois Comptroller’s Office.  Note:  The report shows debt at year-end (May 31, 2015) of $167,000.  See the report here: The report correctly shows a new loan of $45,000 Minutes 12-10-2014 The ambulance purchase reported here: is still not […]

Allin Fire: Truth report

By:  Diane Benjamin Agencies of government in Illinois are required to file reports with the Comptroller’s office.  Below is a screen shot of the 2014 report for the Allin Fire Protection District showing debt.  The District’s fiscal year runs from 6/1/13 through 5/31/14.  The report below shows $90,000 in new debt during fiscal year 2014.  […]

Never enough of your money

By:  Diane Benjamin McLean County Board Chairman Matt Sorenson appeared on WGLT yesterday.  Either Bloomington passes 1/4 Sales Tax increase for mental health or the County will raise property taxes. Instead of jumping at raising taxes, how about cutting administrators Matt? Below is a list of every Taxing Body on the State Comptrollers website […]