Coalition Builds For Sales Tax Sharing Pact

May 12, 2016

Credit Michael Allen Smith / Creative Commons

Count the McLean County Chamber of Commerce and the Bloomington Normal Economic Development Council among the interest groups on board a proposed sales tax sharing agreement in the twin cities.

Chamber President and CEO Charlie Moore says an agreement would allow both cities to approach businesses with a unified voice in discussing public incentives for job growth.

"What it does do is it takes off some of the competitiveness, if you will, to be on one side of Division Street or another, whether they are in Bloomington or whether they're in Normal," said Moore.

Moore said the move would reserve debate over tax incentives for meaningful employment expansions.

"We certainly want to work with businesses who have already invested. They already employ people. So, obviously you want to do what you can in order to help them continue to grow," said Moore.   

The leadership council of B-N Advantage earlier approved the concept.

Moore cautioned further support depends on the municipalities crafting an agreement on the share of the sales tax pie each gets and how to revisit and revise the pact when conditions change. Moore said "the devil is in the details."

Bloomington has 60% of sales tax revenue. Normal has 40%. That's similar to the population ratio of the municipalities.