Bloomington tonight: Property Taxes

By: Diane Benjamin Agenda for tonight: 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 […]

Unit 5 – you elected them

By: Diane Benjamin WGLT story on Unit 5 property taxes: 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 […]

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 […]

Look what’s coming! 🥶

By: Diane Benjamin It was worth going to a few Tri-Valley School Board meetings to ask for more transparency. I hope someday they decide to live stream meetings! Of course District 87 still doesn’t. The new transparency Tri-Valley is doing is worthless unless people READ what’s being discussed. Evidently nobody read the September 20th Superintendent’s […]

Rivian’s new Assessed Value for Property Taxes

By: Diane Benjamin Keep in mind voters were scared into giving Unit 5 the right to increase tax rates. The below is using the rate Unit 5 charged property owners in 2022. They now have the right to charge you much more regardless of how much the assessed value of your property increased. The below […]

Property Tax Surprise coming!

By: Diane Benjamin Get ready for your PTAX-228 Notice of Assessment Change. Sit down before you open it! Thanks to the housing shortage prices have been rising fast. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t selling your house – this notice will reflect the prices of other houses that sold for inflated prices. I hear you […]

School District Facts – maybe move to Indiana

By: Diane Benjamin summarizes property taxes by state. Indiana property tax rates as a percentage of home value is less than half what Illinois is. Of course everyone knows schools drive Illinois property taxes. Indiana School Districts: The largest public school district in Indiana, Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) is an agile, innovative educational organization […]

Unit 5 Vote YES group using fuzzy math

By: Diane Benjamin See Unit 5’s state report card here: Graduation rate is 90% 35% need Community College remediation 30% of 8th Graders pass Algebra 1 26% are chronically truant (90% graduate?) Unit 5 is currently spending $12,000 per student. Unit 5 now wants a tax increase expected to raise $20,000,000. h/t a reader: […]

Normal: What happened next

By: Diane Benjamin You have to watch the Kathleen Lorenz video in this story to understand Chris Koos wasn’t listening: Directly after Lorenz called for unity and better leadership Stan Nord made a Trustee comment. I hope Kathleen was paying attention to Chris Koos’ snide remark when Stan was finished. Kathleen: You saw first […]

Unit 5’s Community Engagement

By: Diane Benjamin Unit 5 has held 2 events with citizens because they want a tax increase. The last one is virtual tonight: Question that needs answered: Why did salaries increase in 2020: The number of employees and students decreased from 2019 but salaries increased over 7%. Was that a planned increase to push […]

It’s past time for TRUTH to be all that matters

By: Diane Benjamin I was in the room yesterday when the 3 person McLean County Electoral Board issued their ruling. The first of the three members who gave her opinion was a Democrat – Assistant State’s Attorney Mary Koll. Koll was adamant that courts where there was clearly no fraud or intent to confuse voters […]

Scott Preston’s positive change (ugh)

By: Diane Benjamin Just re-elected Normal Trustee Scott Preston has announced he wants to dump Normal for a higher office: He doesn’t live in the District now: Preston didn’t bother to tell voters last April he wasn’t planning on staying around if he wins. Worse, Preston claims to be a Republican while voting at least […]

McCarthy proves Democrats aren’t interested in fixing pensions

By: Diane Benjamin The Democrat Party of Illinois isn’t going to reform pensions with a Constitutional Amendment. Next year they do have a Constitutional Amendment on the ballot to hand unions even more power. If local elected officials across the State demanded a Constitutional Amendment to reform pensions, they would prove they care about […]

More proof Lorenz and Preston work for government – not you

By: Diane Benjamin Local property values are rising which means your property taxes will be going up based on the new value of your home. Units of government claiming they are keeping the rate the same as last year want you to believe they aren’t raising your taxes. When you bill comes in the mail […]

Tax rate Monday: Bloomington

By: Diane Benjamin Three more Performance Fees at the BCPA are on Bills and Payroll tonight: On 11/12/21 there was only 1 show: The Brubeck Brothers Quartet The 11/17/21 was Shake & Holla Only two items are on the Regular Agenda: FY2021 ended 4/30/2021. Seven months later the Financial Statements are released. I wonder […]

The Comedy Club you don’t have to pay to see!

By: Diane Benjamin Attention Mayor Mboka: You don’t have a right to limit speech! Read up, Urbana just paid attorney’s fees to settle a lawsuit against them for doing exactly what you did last night: The comment Mboka objected to starts at 25:29. The lady could be called clueless, combative, obnoxious, and probably other […]

Normal Obligations to retirees

By: Diane Benjamin The below information is from the Illinois Comptroller website: Start with the Total OPEB Liability. In TWO years it increased 42.86%. What is OPEB? Other Post Employment Benefits, in other word promises to retired employees other than a pension. The Town of Normal pays these costs as incurred. Unlike the private […]

Is Normal Fooling you?

By: Diane Benjamin Since Chris Koos, Kevin McCarthy, Scott Preston, and Chemberly Cummings want your vote April 6th, does this look like something they would do to get it? The Normal Council held a 9 hour budget session yesterday. Surprise! They aren’t going to raise property taxes this year. Instead they are rearranging money they […]

Bloomington: Expect tax increases

By: Diane Benjamin Only one Public Comment is worth listening to. Go to 39:40. A guy is upset the Bloomington police post pictures of people of interest on social media hoping the public can help locate or identify the person. Worth listening to for another perspective. This re-zoning got sent back to the Planning Commission. […]

Illinois is the WORST State for Middle Class Families

This is Kiplinger, not some conservative outlet trying to play politics: Before both Bloomington and Normal decide to raise property taxes, and Unit 5 does again – these were the rates: District 87: 5.144810 City of Bloomington: 1.090100 Unit 5: 5.355410 Town of Normal: 1.032630

Normal’s debt

By: Diane Benjamin From Normal’s just issued financial statements as of 3/31/2020: Note the Long-Term total debt – $224,909,947. It increased more than $25 million in 1 year. What makes up that debt? $84,320,000 is bond debt, the IEPA loan doesn’t have interest expense. PDF page 31 Below is a chart showing the biggest […]

One reason your property taxes are high

By: Diane Benjamin The second installment of your property taxes are due on 9/17. The check you will be writing is higher because of many things, but a BIG one is Tax Increment Financing. TIF’s The Uptown TIF is Normal’s huge one. The 2020 comprehensive report isn’t available yet, so I have to use the […]

Normal: Financial Trends report is immaterial

By: Diane Benjamin During Tuesday’s night Normal Town Council meeting much was made about the Financial Trends Reports and what a valuable tool it is. This year it isn’t. It recaps what happened from 4/1/2019 through 3/31/2020. Something happened around the time this report ends: Glance through the report. It contains little current information: […]

Normal Monday night 7-6-2020

By:  Diane Benjamin I wonder if Koos and Reece will admit the Executive Orders issued are now dead? Normal for Monday night: Is this in addition to what taxpayers already pay? Misc: It appears the discussion of paying property taxes by the Town of Normal on property that should be exempt must continue: I […]

Proof Normal knew

By:  Diane Benjamin Remember the property taxes Normal paid Monday night that Pam Reece, Brian Day, and Chris Koos  couldn’t explain – or didn’t want to? The parking lot at 100-104 Beaufort is part of the Trail East project.  From the Trail East documentation: A link to the above is not included on purpose, […]

More Property Taxes Normal Doesn’t Owe

By:  Diane Benjamin Ever heard “Watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves”? The Town of Normal is not only not “watching the pennies”, they aren’t watching dollars either.  (YOUR DOLLARS) These bills are “presented” for Monday night – nobody is suppose to ask questions. Start with the One Uptown Circle Rent.  […]

More on Normal’s Property Taxes they don’t owe.

By:  Diane Benjamin Follow-up to this story: On May 6th when that story was written both the Adelaide property and the empty lot on Ft. Jesse were labeled taxable on the McLean County Assessor’s website.  Ft. Jesse still is, Adelaide has finally been changed.  Evidently Normal will continue to pay property taxes on an […]

Socialist exposing themselves

By:  Diane Benjamin Hitler was elected.  The people of Germany voted for a socialist because he promised to save them.  Democratic Socialism.  Those wanting to re-write history don’t want you to know his party was called:  National Socialist German Workers’ Party. Socialists always come to power promising equality and free stuff.  It’s easy to get votes […]

Normal: Remember all those property tax increases?

By:  Diane Benjamin For many years the Town of Normal has raised property taxes by telling you the increases were necessary to fund pensions. They left out one fact.  All of the increased taxes for properties located in TIF Districts don’t go to pensions – they go to the TIF. Follow along: This isn’t complicated.  […]