And the considerable article writing skills of District 300’s Allison Strupeck brings us the following account:
Algonquin Leads Way on EDA
The Village of Algonquin took a leadership role this week on the proposed extension of the Sears Economic Development Area (EDA) by passing a Resolution through its Committee of the Whole in support of District 300’s position on Senate Bill 540 Amendment 3.
The Resolution is slated for final approval at the regular Village Board meeting this Tuesday, October 4, which is the same night that the District 300 Board of Education will be passing its own Resolution opposing this state legislation. To read the Algonquin Resolution, please visit http://www.d300.org/document/28657.
“It’s clear that momentum is building against this legislation, which threatens to harm an entire generation of students,” said Michael Bregy, D300 Superintendent.
“If this is truly a state-level issue, then the entire state must collectively own the solution rather than forcing it onto the backs of the local community.”
Not only would the proposed legislation severely hurt the educational opportunities of future job holders, it may require additional layoffs of D300 staff and would continue to shift the tax burden from Sears Corporate Holdings and Hoffman Estates residents onto the taxpayers of D300.
Bregy added that he and the Board of Education want Sears Corporate Holdings to stay in Illinois while also ensuring that the children of Sears employees receive the best possible quality of education.
A 15-year extension of the EDA would divert another $217 million in school property taxes away from the schools.
The language of Senate Bill 540 Amendment 3, which the State Senate plans to vote on at the end of October, does not sufficiently tie corporate tax breaks to local job retention. The EDA is assigned to the property, not to Sears itself.
“If the legislature really wants to keep Sears jobs in the State of Illinois, an EDA is not the mechanism to achieve this goal,” Bregy said.
“In fact, an EDA extension could make it even easier for Sears to sell its property and move out of state.
“We believe strongly that alternative legislation to the Sears EDA can and should be developed, and we are pleased that the Algonquin leadership agrees with us.”