The McLean County Board has approved a tax abatement agreement to help rehab a downtown Bloomington building. Green Building LLC wants to refurbish 115 East Monroe into upscale apartments with commercial space on the ground floor. Board member Chuck Erickson objected to the idea.
"I have severe reservations about it. There is a difference between a job creation tax abatement and a predominantly remodeling and restoration tax abatement."
But, Finance Committee Chair Ben Owens says it is also legitimate to offer tax breaks to businesses if they add to the tax base and the value of the property will grow after the rehabilitation. Owens also says the agreement drafted by the city of Bloomington is tight enough to prevent a flood of similar applications.
"If one of these criteria do not meet...it is my understanding the city will pull the plug and let us know/. I mean this is not somethingI believe the city is going to play around with."
Board member Sonny O'Connor also says the project will likely bring more young people with disposable income to live in downtown Bloomington.. The abatement is worth up to $4 million over ten years with the requirement that the company put at least $1.6 million of work into the structure.
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