I read your editorial in the Oct. 28 paper about TIFs. While the information is germane to those of us who have a basic understanding of Belleville TIFs, except for the last sentence, it does not go far enough in informing the taxpayers how Belleville is misusing the TIFs to operate their general fund and other daily activities.
Belleville’s TIFs are a tax imposed upon citizens without any input or approval of the taxpayer to collect them.
You mentioned that one of the districts had a zero balance, but you neglected to mention that several districts collected tax revenue, but had no material activity, i.e., no projects of any kind. Instead, the city transferred the tax money to TIF 3 or to their sewer account.
Now, for TIF 3: 2010-2015, the city charged more than $7.3 million in administrative costs for salary reimbursements to the general fund for employees working on TIF issues; spent $243,636 to purchase police cars, $50,240 for an end loader, $235,006 for a dumptruck; made annual contributions to Belleville Americorps; paid for Art on the Square, etc., etc., etc.
While you state the city can’t use that money willy-nilly for any need, that’s exactly what they’re doing. I have the city’s records. Are you interested?
Larry Price, Belleville