A press release from School District 300:
D300 leaders in talks with Sears
District 300 leaders are working closely with officials from Sears and the Village of Hoffman Estates to prevent the extension of the Sears Economic Development Area (EDA).
Sears Corporate Holdings is located within D300 boundaries, near the intersection of Route 72 and Route 59.
The Sears property, and the surrounding Prairie Stone development, are part of an EDA that state officials approved in the early 1990s, which has meant the loss of tax revenues for D300 over the past 20 years.
While the Sears EDA won’t expire until 2013, Hoffman Estates officials introduced state legislation this February which would extend the tax break another 15 years.
D300 was not initially informed of this legislation.
When the district became aware of it, D300 leaders became involved in the talks, which may be ongoing for months or years.
If state leaders decide to approve this legislation, D300 would lose tax revenues from 2013 to 2028.
D300 leaders have spoken with state legislators about the Sears EDA issue for the past several years, proactively advocating that they allow the EDA to expire as planned in 2013.
D300 officials are now actively meeting with Sears executives to discuss the impact of the EDA over the past 20 years, as well as the potential future impact on our students.
“At this point, Sears officials indicated they were grateful to learn the specifics about our situation, and they have assured the district that they will find a way to resolve the situation with D300 students in mind,”
said D300 Chief Financial Officer Dr. Cheryl Crates. “We certainly very much appreciate this ongoing and open dialogue.”
However, D300 leaders will continue to monitor this situation very closely and actively pursue a positive resolution, which may take some time to achieve.
In the meantime, some D300 parents and community members have independently begun their own meetings to explore their options.
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No word as to whether the phrase “corporate welfare” came up.