Rumor vs. Fact

"Well, everybody knows that..."  Most statements that start like this are likely to contain exaggerations and possibly wrong information.  Social media, blogs, and even sometimes traditional media contain a lot of juicy rumors and headlines, but this page is dedicated to presenting the actual facts.   Below are a few rumors that have been circulating about the Town, followed by an explanation to correct misinformation:

posted 12/20/2017
RUMOR: Normal has the highest property taxes in Illinois
FACT:  Normal's new municipal tax rate of $1.04 per $100 assessed valuation is the lowest among our downstate comparable cities. (Last year, Bloomington was $1.08; Peoria $1.94; Urbana $2.00; Decatur $2.45.) The community tax rate for Normal (including schools, library, airport, etc.), approximately $8.64 per $100 assessed valuation, is also among the lowest of our downstate comparable cities. (Last year, Peoria was $9.57; Decatur $10.56; Urbana $10.61.)
Rumor vs Fact
posted 12/20/2017
RUMOR: Champaign didn't pay Portillo's any incentive, so the Town of Normal didn't need to
FACT: Every development situation is unique. The costs associated with Normal's Portillo’s site were considerably more than in Champaign. There, Portillo’s purchased a long-vacant restaurant. It was a distressed property that was priced accordingly. It was also a much smaller parcel, because Portillo’s was able to use an adjacent, existing parking lot. In Normal, the site was a successful three-story hotel and the site was nearly twice as large as in Champaign, so the acquisition cost was nearly three times greater. If the site costs in Normal were like Champaign, no public participation would have been necessary, but to make the project economically viable in Normal, it was absolutely necessary to provide some economic assistance.  Note that the amount of tax revenue from the new Portillo’s restaurant is more than 10 times the amount of tax revenue that the Town collected from the hotel that was previously on the same site.

posted 12/20/2017
RUMOR: Crime is on the rise making Normal less safe than it used to be
FACT:  A ranking of Illinois cities released last month by rated Normal as the 19th safest city in the State, and the second safest city in downstate Illinois. In June 2017, Illinois State University achieved a ranking among the "Top 100 Safest Colleges in America," at #33.