Tax breaks approved for ex-Bloomington alderman’s downtown rehab plans

Main Plaza Building in Downtown Bloomington
Main Plaza Building in Downtown Bloomington(25 News/Heart of Illinois ABC)
Published: May. 23, 2022 at 9:14 PM CDT
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BLOOMINGTON (WEEK) - The Bloomington City Council has signed off on a deal offering tax breaks for a former alderman who wants to expand his downtown business and create space for two other retailers.

The council voted unanimously Monday night for an agreement in which local tax incentives would fund approximately 17% of Jamie Mathy’s project.

The former alderman and his wife plan to move their business, Red Raccoon Games, next door to the unoccupied Main Street Plaza and rent space for two other businesses, which must be new to the city for Mathy to receive the incentives.

Red Raccoon Games on North Main Street in Downtown Bloomington
Red Raccoon Games on North Main Street in Downtown Bloomington(25 News/Heart of Illinois ABC)

Mathy would get back 50% of local sales taxes generated from his board game store, and all sales taxes from the two other stores that move there. Mathy would also receive all of the city’s portion of property taxes generated by the redeveloped property. The rebates will stop at $196,900, or after six years, whichever comes first.

Jamie Mathy
Jamie Mathy(25 News/Heart of Illinois ABC)

Mathy’s name wasn’t mentioned during the council’s discussion, but Alderwoman Donna Boelen indicated she has some reservations about the deal.

“I’m not comfortable with the 100% rebate on a retail store for six years,” Boelen said. Still, she voted for package.

Mathy plans to invest $1.6 million for the project that aims to breathe new life in a building that has been vacant for about 14 years.

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