Bloomington to collect more taxes next year despite spending concerns

Downtown Bloomington, Illinois.
Downtown Bloomington, Illinois.(25 News / Heart of Illinois ABC)
Published: Dec. 12, 2022 at 9:03 PM CST
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BLOOMINGTON (25 News Now) - Bloomington will collect more in property taxes next year to help pay down its obligations to police and fire pensions, and to pay off some of the bonds for expansion and renovation of the city’s public library.

About $22.3 million will be collected for the city government to function and almost $6.3 million for the library. Both are up almost 7%, but city leaders said the tax rate will stay about the same because growth in the community is likely to boost taxable land values.

Council members Grant Walch, Sheila Montney and Nick Becker voted no.

Walch borrowed the line “Feed Me” from the show “Little Shop of Horrors” noting the city is taking “more and more from the people.”

Montney said the city should be looking for ways to reverse the trend of collecting more taxes, while Becker argued the government should function more like a business.

“In the businesses I run, I manage them that way by decreasing costs and increasing efficiency rather than trying to raise the revenue,” said Becker.

Council members Jeff Crabill and Molie Ward voted with the majority, promoting what they said are the library’s essential services like providing a safe shelter and its educational benefits.

“Those of us who seem to be complaining about this often times are not the ones who need it the most,” said Ward.

Combined, the city and library’s share of property owners’ tax bill is about 15%, said Bloomington City Manager Tim Gleason.