Vulcan Lakes/Route 14 TIF Project to Require 3/5 Majority Vote on Crystal Lake City Council

A mid-day Friday city hall meeting of the tax districts affected by the two Tax Increment Financing districts proposed by the City of Crystal Lake resulting in requiring one of the proposals to receive a 3/5 majority.

District representatives voted to reject the Vulcan Lakes/Route 14 TIF district by a 2-1 one, with one abstention.

The city’s representative was the only favorable vote. Grade School District 47 and High School District 155 voted to reject the recreation-related TIF. The Crystal Lake Park District representative abstained, lacking guidance from his board.

Although a motion was made by High School District 155 to reject the Main Street TIF as well, the vote there was 1-1-2, with both the Grade School District and the Park District abstaining.

The Grade School District’s abstention resulted from arguments made by Grade School Board member Dave Hubbard. What he said at the last board meeting resulted in no duplication of the motion made to oppose the Vulcan Lakes TIF District. Without a mandate, Superintendent Ron Miller did not vote on District 155’s attempt to make it more difficult for the city council to pass the second TIF district.

Enacting both TIF districts would freeze the assessed valuation for properties they contain for 23 years as far as all tax districts but the City of Crystal Lake. Crystal Lake would obtain use of an estimated $138 million to use for so-called public improvements within the boundaries of the two TIF districts. Taxes on homeowners and businesses not in the TIF districts would increase an average of $6.1 million a year, assuming that the hoped for increased assessed valuation would occur without the TIF subsidy to developers.

School district representatives pointed out that recent or reported multi-million sales of Conlon-Collins and the old Hines Lumber property at the corner of Crystal Lake Avenue and Main Street was good indication that economic activity did not need a taxpayer subsidy.

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