Normal Township supervisor questions expansion of Normal TIF district

Sarah Grammer
Normal Township Supervisor Sarah Grammer said Normal has incentive options for businesses other than expanding the tax increment financing district.
(Howard Packowitz/WJBC)

By Greg Halbleib

NORMAL – Normal Township Supervisor Sarah Grammer wants to tap the brakes on expanding a tax increment financing district in Uptown Normal.

The Normal Town Council approved a 12-year extension to 2038 on Monday. Grammer said she feels that’s too long and nothing ensures it won’t be longer, pointing out that a TIF district in Springfield just received its second 12-year extension.

“Once a property is developed, it doesn’t stay shiny,” Grammer told WJBC’s Sam Wood. “Especially when we talk about hotels and businesses that people are in and out of all the time.”

Grammer said the town has other incentive options to offer, such as tax rebates or grants.

“The town is able to incentivize using hotel-motel sales tax rebates, retail tax rebates,” Grammer listed. “They could arrange a property tax abatement down the road if they want. They give out free spaces in their public garages. They’ve given away free land. They’ve even given grants out of the general fund to Rivian.”

The McLean County Board signed off on the TIF district Tuesday morning. Heartland Community College considers it Wednesday and Unit 5 has called a special board meeting for Thursday on the district.

Greg Halbleib can be reached at greg@wjbc.com. 

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