Normal Debt – VISUAL

By: Diane Benjamin So far I haven’t commented on the financial statements Normal released a few weeks ago. It is much easier to show you facts when the Illinois Comptroller gets around to posting the information in a way it is easier to understand. They finally did today. Debt: Look at the Original Issue Amount […]

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 […]

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 […]

Normal Township’s fuzzy math

See the comments, they borrowed money.  More debt!   By:  Diane Benjamin Continuing this story from yesterday:    https://blnnews.com/2018/04/30/townships-the-hidden-government/ 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:   ftp://ftp.illinoiscomptroller.com/LocGovTIF/FY2017/06409531/17TIF06409531Downtown_volpment_1.pdf 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:  http://www.cityblm.org/government/advanced-components/documents/-folder-499/-npage-5 If you watch the video, Tari called the meeting to order anyway, see it here:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfeOZOEU6xs 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: https://blnnews.com/2017/11/03/is-normal-hiding-tif-data/ https://blnnews.com/2017/11/03/bloomington-plays-the-same-tif-game/ 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 […]

FRAUD!

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 […]

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 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? […]

TIF problem!

By:  Diane Benjamin Downtown TIF report filed with the State of Illinois for 2010:  2010 Report Downtown TIF report filed with the State of Illinois for 2011:  2011 Report Both reports are filed by the same guy – the Finance Director at the time, Tim Irvin. You don’t have to be a CPA to see […]

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:  http://warehouse.illinoiscomptroller.com/ProcessSearchResults.cfm?DisplayMode=GETAFR&AFRDesiredData=Indebtedness&Code=064/010/06&CFY=2015&Menu=Yes&PrintIt=No The report correctly shows a new loan of $45,000 Minutes 12-10-2014 The ambulance purchase reported here:  https://blnnews.com/2015/10/14/allin-fire-truth-report/ 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.  http://wglt.org/wireready/news/2015/08/01262_sorenson_SI_MH_spot_web_180041.shtml Instead of jumping at raising taxes, how about cutting administrators Matt? Below is a list of every Taxing Body on the State Comptrollers website […]