Bloomington-Overtime, Pension Spiking, etc

By:  Diane Benjamin Bills and Payroll Monday night:    http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=17676 Bi-Weekly Overtime!  (hours/payment – PDF page 6) Weekly employees Overtime: Two entries for Sick Leave Buy Back. Pension Spiking: More expenses for the Coliseum? They haven’t gotten to the elevator yet. Consultants – Administration How many downtown properties aren’t paying taxes because Bloomington bought them?  Maybe […]

Normal’s Pension Problem (and Bloomington)

By:  Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal has to pay into three pension funds:  IMRF, Police, and Fire. The funding for IMRF isn’t horrible, Police and Fire are.  What does that say about who the Town management and Council respect and who they don’t? I’m sure you remember property taxes being raised year after year […]

Property tax bills done

By:  Diane Benjamin If you are so excited to see what your property taxes will be this year, the bills are now on-line:  http://mcleanil.devnetwedge.com/ No surprise they are going up! The only way to fight back is to protest your assessed value.  Maybe I will start a side business showing people how. When you look at […]

Normal Does Comedy!

By:  Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal must be feeling heat.  Maybe it’s because Chris Koos came REALLY close to getting knocked off by Marc Tiritilli.  Maybe it’s because Normal raised property taxes eleven years in a row.  Maybe it’s because the only way a building was going to get built across from City Hall […]

ELEVEN! Citizens fight back

By:  Diane Benjamin Maybe the citizens of Normal have finally decided enough is enough.  11 citizens (one from Bloomington) spoke against the property tax increase during the public hearing before the Normal Town Council.  They came armed with facts which the council later tried to refute.  That story will be next.  Meanwhile, just hit play […]

Everybody in Normal must be rich!

By:  Diane Benjamin Tonight:  Town of Normal 7:00 p.m. Public Hearing on a proposed Property Tax Levy . I expect few citizens will show up to express outrage that their government is not capable of living within their means.  The Council and the Mayor are counting on it. This hearing is required because the Town […]

Normal’s Economic Development Exposed

By:  Diane Benjamin Chris Koos recently spoke at a “State of McLean County” event.    See the newspaper story HERE Koos thinks his job is reducing economic inequity, delivering opportunity, social equity and sustainability. If his claims were true, the Council wouldn’t be set to raise property taxes to fill holes in their budget. Stealing more […]

Normal Taxpayers got SCAMMED!

By:  Diane Benjamin Last night Trustees RC McBride and Kevin McCarthy went out of their way to thanks the 5 citizens who spoke at Public Comment.  They needed to because 3 out of the 5 were plants. Normal illegally requires citizens who want to speak to sign up hours in advance.  That gives Koos and […]

Heartland’s Fleece

By:  Diane Benjamin The Pantagraph reported today the Heartland Board passed an operating budget that is 7.8% higher than last year. The overall budget is 13.4% higher than last year. Heartland approved a huge tax increase last year.  When your property tax bill increased – much of it was Heartland! Below are the tax rates […]

Normal: Last night’s 4 minutes

Update:  FOIA filed.  Locust has to do with an ISU land swap from 2015. By:  Diane Benjamin The video of last night’s Normal Town Council says it’s 10:23 minutes.  The meeting doesn’t start until 6:48, so the actually meeting was less than 4 minutes. See the video here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLNC0lO-kCBYjaSv4sZ4udZFRwMu8bwYGr&v=3XAyHvlFBKE Start the video around 6 minutes […]

How did this happen?

By:  Diane Benjamin Remember in 2014 when a new soccer complex was proposed? That plan involved relocating the YMCA to south Main where the Great Escape used to be.  The new building would be a community center.  All the planners needed was a tax increase to fund it.  State Farm Bank was owed money on […]

News from CIRA’s minutes + Soccer

By:  Diane Benjamin The Central Illinois Regional Airport has their new website:  CIRA.com Meeting dates, agenda’s, minutes etc can be found under “About the Airport” and then “Airport Authority”. Since I haven’t had time to follow them lately, I clicked on the November minutes and found this under Public Comments: The address is Bloomington.  It’s […]

Surprise! You are the last to know

By:  Diane Benjamin I hear David Hales and Patti-Lynn Silva will be talking about raising property taxes!  This meeting is open to the public. Detroit Drive is off Towanda Barnes Road just north of the theater. I can tell you how they decide your taxes.  They need X dollars, they go to the Assessor and […]

Bloomington: Check your assessment!

By:  Diane Benjamin I helped a friend do research on property values last week.  Many houses in her neighborhood have sold in the last year and the selling prices have dropped dramatically. I don’t know why the values are decreasing, but owners can not be forced to keep paying taxes on a value the house […]

Normal’s 3 year tax history

By:  Diane Benjamin From the Illinois Comptroller’s website: Source:  http://warehouse.illinoiscomptroller.com/ProcessSearchResults.cfm?AFRDesiredData=Revenues&Code=064/095/31&CFY=2016&Menu=Yes&PrintIt=No For the year ending 3/31/2016 Notes: Normal is relying on Property and Sales Taxes more than they previously did. Bloomington has claimed that declining Utility Tax receipts means a decreasing population.  Is Normal shrinking? Licenses and Permits aren’t growing. . . .  

Did your Tax Assessment go UP?

By:  Diane Benjamin There is now no level of government that understands you work, your earn your paycheck, and they are NOT entitled to it! Yes, government needs the smallest piece possible from you, but they have completely lost the purpose for their theft.  Government only exists to do things people can’t do themselves like […]

Normal: Sick of your government yet?

By:  Diane Benjamin I rarely write about Normal because the citizens never get outraged.  What does it take?  Bankruptcy? Tonight: Chris Koos had to know the Mitsubishi plant was already sold to a liquidator, but took a trip funded by you to Germany anyway: Hope the Council enjoyed eating at your expense:   Do residents […]

Truth about property taxes

By:  Diane Benjamin Between 2007 and 2015 my total property taxes went up almost 15%.  The assessed value went up  a little over 9%. That’s EIGHT years. All those rate decreases mean nothing when the assessor thinks your property values went up. Remember the 2008 crash when property values supposedly dropped?  For taxes, mine didn’t. […]

Want cheap property taxes?

by:  Diane Benjamin Buy a Condo in the Ensenberger Building! I was looking for something else when I stumbled on some astounding numbers. Below are Condo Sales in the Ensenberger Building.  The Property Taxes are from the Assessor’s website.  Some properties list the Selling price, some don’t.  I looked up the ones without a selling […]

Zero Transparency: McLean County

By:  Diane Benjamin Last November the McLean County Board raised your property taxes. According to Board member Wendt, the County revenues were $1,000,000 higher than the previous year.  It wasn’t enough. Something interesting happened before the final budget vote.  An amendment was offered by member Erickson to use part of the reserves instead of raising […]

Why Illinois fails: Bill Brady

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve written stories about McLean County Board member Dave Selzer’s property tax problems.  His taxes were purchased by people profiting from people unable to pay.  See these stories: https://blnnews.com/2016/02/29/selzers-tax-problem/ https://blnnews.com/2016/02/15/dave-selzer-tax-deadbeat/ Freedom of Information requests from the County led to the people buying taxes:  RealTax Developers (Huffs) and Shannon Logsdon. Another FOIA request […]

Need a raise? Leave Illinois!

Source:  https://www.illinoispolicy.org/illinois-state-government-takes-in-more-tax-dollars-per-person-than-every-neighboring-state/?utm_source=IPI+%2F+IPA&utm_campaign=a76a49555a-utm_source%3Dmailchimp&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0f5a22f52c-a76a49555a-14630225 Tari loved the Illinois Policy Institute when they gave him a transparency award.  I wonder how he will feel about this?  Of course, part of the high taxes in Illinois are HIS fault! Tell Illinois politicians they have stolen enough of your money!

Rejoice! Headed toward #1

By:  Diane Benjamin When I moved to this area in 1980 if Democrats wanted to get elected they had to run as Republicans.  Nobody here then would ever elect a Democrat.  Some of those “pretend” Republicans are still in office. Today it’s hard to tell the difference between Democrats and Republicans.  Big time Republican Matt […]

TIF district on agenda for tonight-Bloomington

by:  Diane Benjamin What is a TIF district?  Tax Increment Financing.  The latest information posted on the Illinois Comptroller’s website (2010) shows Bloomington has 2 – Normal has 4: http://www.comptrollerconnect.ioc.state.il.us/Office/LocalGovt/ViewTIFReports/DisplayTIFRpt.cfm?CFY=2010&BetaSel=B http://www.comptrollerconnect.ioc.state.il.us/Office/LocalGovt/ViewTIFReports/DisplayTIFRpt.cfm?CFY=2010&BetaSel=N TIF districts are used as a re-development tool when taxes don’t want to be raised.  The City of Bloomington will consider creating one tonight […]

Heartland & Your Tax Bill

by:  Diane Benjamin I’m sure you’ve received your Real Estate Tax bill by now – did you just look at the total and suppress a growl? If you didn’t read it line by line, pull it out and see what Heartland Community College is costing you.  If you remember, Heartland came into existence to provide […]

Attn: Bloomington – Taxes Taxes Taxes

by:  Diane Benjamin Government will never live within their means because they aren’t forced to.  Citizens just sit back and take whatever is thrown at them. Many groups want your money: Unit 5, District 87, Soccer people, Community Center people, County Board, Library people, City of Bloomington – and there are probably more I forgot. […]

McLean County Taxes Compared to ALL Counties

This report was released by the tax foundation in 2011 for 2005-2009.  http://taxfoundation.org/article/property-taxes-owner-occupied-housing-county-ranked-taxes-paid-2005-2009-five-year-average The comparison is for ALL Counties in the United States.  McLean County isn’t far down the list: #130 for medium property tax paid on homes #61 for % of tax paid based on home value #151 for % of tax based on […]