Bloomington Taxes 2015 vrs 2020

By:  Diane Benjamin It would be nice if Bloomington showed the same charts year-to-year, but they don’t. These charts are available here: Budgeted numbers: The 1% Sales tax increase went into effect January 1st 2016 after being passed in 2015. The budget for Food and Beverage tax is lower in 2019 than 2015.  The […]

Update to yesterday’s “Error” story

By: Diane Benjamin Link to the original story: The loss to the Water Department is likely much greater than I estimated. The charge to businesses is based on the size of the line. The $6.80 per month that should have increase to $27.20 a month is for a 1 inch line. Automatic increases mean […]

Monday is:

By:  Diane Benjamin Monday is RAISE your TAXES day!  The fund balances aren’t enough!  You must pay. Be compliant, stay home, cuss at the Council from the safety of your couch. Or, you could quit eating out as much and paying the outrageous food and beverage taxes.  Or, you could buy more on-line and save those […]

Bloomington: $20 Million in cuts?

By:  Diane Benjamin Can $20 million be cut from Bloomington’s budget?  David Hales thinks disaster would strike Bloomington if the tax increases were rolled back.  (The media happily reports it!) Here’s a better question: The 2012 TOTAL budget was $165.3 million (Pre Tari) The 2013 TOTAL budget was $167 million (Pre Tari) That 2017 TOTAL […]

What Bloomington is paying Monday

By:  Diane Benjamin The agenda for Monday’s meeting was posted on Thursday.  The agenda lists the total to be approved for payment in Bills and Payroll.  Somehow, even though the City knew what the list was, it wasn’t posted until after 4:30 Friday.  Anybody think they are hiding something?  See the list HERE Actually a […]

Coliseum devours taxes

By:  Diane Benjamin Besides the constant maintenance, new video boards and equipment, massive losses, and possible fraud – there’s more. In today’s paper: The City of Bloomington had to get a building permit to fix the Coliseum they own.  I wonder what it cost? Maybe failure to comply with ADA is why an occupancy permit […]

Mr Koos goes to Washington

By:  Diane Benjamin Unlike the Constitution Mr. Smith (Jimmy Stewart) took to Washington DC (the original), Chris Koos wrote one to serve his purpose.  He was quoted in the paper:  “Federal support for transportation is a longstanding tradition and a core constitutional responsibility.” Maybe somebody should ask Koos where he found that in the Constitution.  […]

Goodbye Transparency

By:  Diane Benjamin On June 23, 2016 I posted an email from Alderman Hauman questioning why David Hales did a City Manager’s Report: It looks like Hales agrees and is therefore not compiling the report anymore.  For May, some data is in a folder – most is missing: I’m sure posting real information, […]

Common Sense vrs Government

By:  Diane Benjamin Connect Transit held another Board meeting today.  Revenue for the month of May was $136,587. Expenses were $806,208 Your tax dollars subsidized empty buses! Ridership was down again – off 9.4%. The following Facebook post was used with permission: . A Private Sector business owner is intelligent enough to stop when […]

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 […]

Hales’ November report is here

By:  Diane Benjamin David Hales’ NOVEMBER City Manager’s report is finally on-line: Zoo attendance is down again, but Revenue is up.  Before the report gets to why, readers have to endure glowing reviews.  When prices are raised and a tax is added, it’s not surprising Revenues are higher.  I wonder how many people came […]

Making Progress to WHAT?

By:  Diane Benjamin The Council meeting last night was short.  The video is below.  Public Comment starts at 4:05.  I hear most of the Council was busy doing other things instead of listening to the speakers.  There are some CAN’T MISS comments, including Judy Stearns, Alton Franklin, Gary Lambert, and Joe Walden. We always hear […]

Give them a trophy

By:  Diane Benjamin Budget Task Force report: 4 meeting focused on cuts 1 meeting focused on Revenue The ONLY cuts discussed were cuts that have been discussed for YEARS: Make schools pay for the Resource Officer Make downtown pay for the Police Hire Back program – David Hales was charged with doing this years ago.  […]

More taxes without facts

By:  Diane Benjamin Mayor Transparency wants his Budget Tax Force to report to the Council in September.  Gee Mayor, how are they putting everything on the table when nothing is on the table yet? The audited financial statements for the Coliseum, which will show a much bigger loss than previously reported, won’t be out until […]

High taxes – People leave!

By:  Diane Benjamin Attn:  Bloomington Budget Task Force, McLean County Board, and Normal City Council Illinois has the second highest property tax bills in the country! People are leaving both Bloomington and Normal: Just because you have some project you want to do doesn’t mean you can raise taxes to do it., If […]

Taxes: How about the truth

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington is touting itself as having a lower Sales Tax rate than surrounding communities.  Of course, the reason for saying it is so they can raise theirs. Conveniently left out of the conversation is how many OTHER taxes each City has.  Let’s look at Champaign 1% City Sales Tax 1.5% Home Rule […]

Econ: The lesson continues

By:  Diane Benjamin See this post from earlier today: In just NEW taxes, Tari took $3,680,714 away from taxpayers. What that number doesn’t reflect is the Velocity of Money  (Google it) If taxpayers had kept that money, they would have spent it.  Much of it would have been spent at local stores.  Those businesses would have […]

Taxed to death? Update!

Contrary to claims made by Tari, Bloomington population is decreasing.  So is Normal’s.  Raise taxes and watch the people flee! Source: By:  Diane Benjamin Both Bloomington and Normal are bleeding taxpayers to death with new taxes and fees or raising old ones.  Both have a 2% Food and Beverage Tax, but it’s really sad when […]

No new taxes?

By:  Diane Benjamin To taxpayers, raising fees is the same thing as raising taxes.  Since the City has proudly proclaimed there are no tax increases in the 2016 budget, remember when you are forced to pay more – It’s Not A Tax. From the 2016 Budget – Book 1, page 35:

How did the Community Budget meeting go?

By:  Diane Benjamin Last night 100 citizens (invited by their alderman), the Bloomington City Council, and City staff met to discuss budget priorities. First, below is the survey that 601 citizens responded to.  If Excellent and Good were added together, the City would have glowing approval numbers of 84%.  Do you think the results were […]

Not willing to face reality

by:  Diane Benjamin K-Mart is just the latest to announce it is closing.  Many smaller businesses have or are closing. Both Bloomington and Normal have reported Sales Tax Revenue is down. The Pantagraph reported B-N homes sales have improved – but read the article to the bottom.  New construction lags behind last year.  It’s 1/3 […]

McLean County Board NEEDS your wallet

NOTE:  If you don’t stop the County Board, Bloomington are Normal are next!  After that is Illinois pushing teacher pensions to local districts.  Think your property taxes are bad now?  Just wait! by:  Diane Benjamin Taxes are theft by government.  Tax increases CUT the money you have to spend on everything else.  Government decides how to spend your […]

Phone/Cell Phone bills going up?

by:  Diane Benjamin In Bloomington your telecommunications tax went up in April – Thanks to Mayor Tyranny’s inability to consider cuts to any City spending – other than increases proposed by him and Hales: UTILITY RATES AS OF APRIL 28, 2014 UTILITY COMPONENT CHARGE METHOD OLD RATE NEW RATE STATUTORY LIMIT Electric kilowatt per hour […]

Renner’s man-crush on Koos

by:  Diane Benjamin Did you ever wonder where Mayor Renner got the idea that Bloomington needed a Communications Manager?  Try Normal: Staff Name Title Email Phone Fedden, Sandy Administrative Secretary [email protected] (309) 454-9503 Heffernan, Sally Assistant City Manager [email protected] (309) 454-9504 Peterson, Mark R. City Manager [email protected] (309) 454-9777 Reece, Pamela Deputy City Manager […]

#DumpDurbin – more reasons

by:  Diane Benjamin If you firmly believe government has to run every part of your life – vote Durbin!  The rest of us see Durbin’s empire crumbling around him – the peons just won’t comply! His latest target is Walgreens.  He has declared Walgreens unpatriotic for considering leaving America for Switzerland.  You can see his […]

This is why Bloomington thinks they CAN raise taxes

by:  Diane Benjamin This information is also from the Bloomington City Managers report: I STRONGLY urge the Citizens of Bloomington to read the report.   Parks and Rec has 9 pages.  It’s a glowing report recapping all the activities your government is providing for you.  It’s also the reason why the City needs more […]

McLean County Taxes Compared to ALL Counties

This report was released by the tax foundation in 2011 for 2005-2009. 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 […]

Veterinarians and pet owners don’t get a free pass on ObamaCare

by:  Scott Reeder, Illinois Policy Institute SPRINGFIELD – Is the Internal Revenue Service barking up the wrong tree? When ObamaCare was approved by Congress, few would have guessed that pet owners would be helping pick up part of the tab for the health care overhaul. But earlier this month, the IRS decided that most of […]

US Tax System is Stupid

When you account for all forms of taxation, there are some Americans that “play by the rules” that are sending more than half of their incomes to the government. This is why “tax avoidance” has become a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States.  People are sick and tired of being drained dry by a system that […]