No Board Opposition to Lakewood TIF District

Lakewood joined the parade of municipalities that want Tax Increment Financing Districts.

Lakewood's new TIF District.

Lakewood’s new TIF District.

Since McHenry County Blog was created in reaction to Crystal Lake’s proposal to create the Vulcan Lakes TIF District and since I’m a resident of Lakewood, I felt obliged to testify against creating the tax diversion district.

Every TIF District takes money out of every tax district but the city or village that forms it.

That diversion of tax revenue causes all other tax districts (think schools, since they take about 60% of our tax dollars) to raise their tax rates a bit.

Add up all of those “bits” and we’re talking real money.

Lakewood village officials said that the money raised from taxes on increases in assessed value for the next twenty-three years will go toward paying to run water and sewer to the intersection of Routes 47 and 176.

The second version of the SportsPlex will cover the following area, some of which is owned by the Village of Lakewood taxpayers.

The second version of the SportsPlex will cover the following area, some of which is owned by the Village of Lakewood taxpayers.

Coincidentally, Lakewood will consider another run at creating a sports complex in the approximate are of the one proposed four years ago.

An informal meeting will be held next Tuesday night at the Turnberry Country Club at 7 PM.

The new SportsPlex has a web site up.

The new SportsPlex has a web site up.

As reported earlier, Lakewood will hold a formal zoning meeting on Tuesday night, January 27th, on the proposal, also at 7 PM at the Turnberry Country Club.

Objectors besides myself included two women from the Woodstock School District, Susan Handelsman from west of Woodstock and Kelly Liebman from Wonder Lake.  Both were worried that tax assessments would not go to their school district, hence making their tax bills increase.

Village Administrator Catherine Peterson pointed out that District 200 officials had not objected to the TIF District.

“School officials don’t speak for the taxpayers,” Handelsman pointed out.

She also revealed that the increased assessed valuation will allow the school board to sell more bonds.

In response to Handelsman’s question concerning the reason developers couldn’t pay for the needed infrastructure, Village President Erin Smith said,

“We believe that the intersection will not develop without a TIF District.”

Susan Handelsman addressed the Lakewood Village Board during its TIF Hearing.

Susan Handelsman addressed the Lakewood Village Board during its TIF Hearing.

“If nothing happens at that intersection, is that the worst thing in the world,” Handelsman asked.

“It’s the only opportunity for commercial growth [for Lakewood],” Smith replied.

Scott Sounde asked why two properties annexed along Ballard Road to connect the intersection with Lakewood were left out of the TIF District.

There was also discussion about the Special Service Area that is expiring around the Bard Farm (Turnberry) lakes.

The current reach of the SSA, which many think benefits primarily those seventy-seven people with lake front lots, goes well beyond the lake front.

Smith said the Board wanted a 70-80% support level from whatever a new area would cover.

A meeting held recently seemed to reach a consensus, according to Smith, for “continuing with a voluntary Turnberry Association with lake[front] owners paying more” and those farther from the lakes paying less.


No Board Opposition to Lakewood TIF District — 25 Comments

  1. Consider the logic:

    “We want this, it is a benefit to us”

    Without consideration of the questions:

    1. “What is the maximum amount of economic pain I can force others to bear in order to supply me what I want?”

    2. “What is the maximum amount of economic pain I can bear in order to supply my neighbors, by force of their will, what they want”?

  2. I really haven’t followed this story and what the sportsplex is going to do for the LakeWood community.

    However, don’t you have the exact same concept just 3 miles west, Lippold Park?

    Why would you build two major complexes that would compete for the exact same sporting teams/events.

    There are only so many players/teams.

    Let the Crystal Lake Park District have their sportsplex with no competition.

    As far as the quote from Erin Smith “We believe that the intersection will not develop without a TIF District.”

    If their is a profit, their will be development.

    Maybe not today, but someday it will come.

    Another example of corporate-welfare.

  3. I don’t like TIFs.

    Illinois has a long history of abusive TIFs.

    But I will not object strenuously to this particular TIF district as long as it is immaterial financially, specifically if it meets the following three criteria:

    (1) the Village risks ZERO taxpayer dollars on the project — no expenditures, no loans;
    (2) TIF funds are used SOLELY to pay for infrastructure (roads, sewers, etc.);
    (3) as soon as the infrastructure is paid off, the TIF is dissolved.

    If the Village puts any taxpayer money at risk on this TIF, or uses the proceeds for anything more than common municipal infrastructure, as God is my witness I swear I will motivate candidates to run in the next election and walk door to door to get them elected.

  4. Yes.

    So therefore, as all the arguments which apply to all blighted homeowners are same as those applied to justify tifs (4 years declining EAVs, no hope for investment absent tif funding, i.e.), we must all strive to arrange for tif districts where we live.

    Rather than tif money flowing through uncertain channels, let tif money be returned to taxpaying homeowners to rehabilitate their own blighted properties.

  5. Steve, read the statutes, read the Lakewood tif prospectus

    Where is there even a hinted possibility that this taxpayer subsidization is limited in the way you describe?

  6. The demographics of McHenry County point toward declining population, declining school enrollment and an increase in the average age of those who remain here.

    All of these work against the very audience a sportsplex would hope to attract.

    When this project came up in 2010, I questioned the claims of its proponents that there is a large market for what it was trying to sell, and whether the needs of the market that was there could be met using existing facilities.

    The proponents pointed to similar facilities that were being operated around the country.

    I think at the very least, we need to see how those facilities have fared since then, and what type of economic impact they’ve had in the intervening time period.

    I was skeptical then about the benefit and I remain more so now.

    I agree with Steve Willson, if the TIF can be used for infrastructure alone, leading to eventual private development, then maybe it’s worth it.

    But to dangle a TIF as an incentive for something with dubious economic benefit, then I’d rather take a pass.

  7. A unit of government dissolving?

    Funds being used in only one specific way?

    Zero risk for taxpayers?

    I agree with Susan.

    You know better than that, Mr. Willson.

  8. J, actually it’s not uncommon.

    I’ve seen it many times.

    First, I’m not asking for the unit of government to dissolve, I’m asking for the TIF district to be set up for a limited purpose.

    Second, I’m asking that no Village funds be advanced to the TIF district.

    And, third, I’m asking that once sufficient TIF revenues have been collected to repay the TIF’s expenditures, that it be dissolved.

    It’s done all the time.

    But you have to ask for it that way as citizens.

  9. Is it raining meatballs?

    You sound like an optimist about government now!

    Maybe I’m suffering from negative bias due to how poor this state is run, the MCCD debacle, and countless local boondoggles (I believe Lakewood has had its share of them).

    I do think that’s a good set of criteria though.

    Good luck to those in Lakewood.

  10. You’re right, J: I’m an optimist.

    I’m an optimist because I have seen change happen.

    It starts with ideas but then it has to move to the election booth.

    We — and I mean an awful lot of hardworking volunteers — killed the giant expansion at MCC.

    We helped to get the law changed at the state level to prevent MCC from every pulling an end run around the voters again.

    (Special thanks to Rep. McSweeney for that. He’s the best.)

    By electing new people, we got MCC to move to a flat levy instead of seeing the max every year.

    And we will get more good people elected this April to consolidate our gains.

    We killed the stupid CL Library expansion (although, like a zombie, it keeps coming back).

    The people in Oakwood Hills killed the power plant.

    Now good people are fighting to make sure Lakewood doesn’t commit public money to this project.

    I don’t care what private developers do with their own money.

    I don’t care if people think this is a good project or a bad project, or likely to succeed or likely to fail.

    I, and others like me, just want to make sure that it is private enterprise that takes such risks, not the taxpayers.

    So, yes, I’m an optimist.

    I think government can be changed.

    In fact, it is people who work at change who keep things from being worse than they are.

  11. Lakewood Village President Erin Smith: “We believe that the intersection will not develop without a TIF District.”

    Now that’s a ridiculous statement.

    And one that is used with just about every TIF.

    The area is not blighted.

    Is there even one run down building in the area.

    There is already development nearby.

    The intersection of two state highways in suburban Chicago, Illinois State Route 47 & Illinois State Route 176, will not develop without a TIF?

    Smack dab in the middle of McHenry County.

    People will just build all around it and leave that intersection an undeveloped island?

    Obviously that is not true.

    Now it may be true the area will not develop, in the time frame she wants it developed, but she apparently did not say that.

    And you could say that about lots of areas in McHenry County.

    I want to open a business.

    The area will not develop without a TIF.

    Give me a TIF and I will open the business.

    Do not give me a TIF and I will not open the business.

    Next, taxing districts almost never explain the whole story on the property tax impact of TIFs in a way the community can understand.

    And taxing districts whose tax revenue is diverted to the TIF almost never object.

    That’s because most taxing districts talk to one another and want to maintain a good image to the community.

    If there is a good image, less likely their goals, objectives, pay, and benefits will be questioned.

    Finally, taxes will go up irregardless of whether or not the Lakewood sports complex happens because pensions are massively underfunded due to legislative pension benefit hikes (aka pension sweeteners) and local salary hikes.

    There’s the real tax problem.

    To hike a pension, sweeten the pension benefits and hike salaries.

    So people will be less likely to visit a Sportsplex if it’s built, because some of their discretionary income will be diverted to funding pensions.

    The legislators with their pension and retiree healthcare benefit hikes and local politicians with their local pay and benefit hikes, made the pension and retiree healthcare honey pots bigger.

    The state constitution was changed to say the honey pot cannot be diminished or impaired.

    The state constitution allows UNLIMITED pension and retiree healthcare hikes, EACH ONE which cannot be diminished or impaired.

    The Constitution has no limit on how little workers contribute to their pension fund.

    The Constitution has no limit on how early workers can retire.

    The Constitution has no limit on how many years a worker has to work before receiving a partial or full pension.

    The Constitution has no limit on how much pension accrues each year a worker works (accrual rate).

    And the list of pension sweeteners goes on and on.

    Nor should the Constitution has such limits.

    Rather, the sentence stating pensions cannot be diminished or impaired should not have been added to the Constitution.

    Iinstead get rid if the one added sentence which allows unlimited hikes and then allows those unlimited hikes to not be diminished or impaired.

    But the damage has been done over the last 44 years.

    The Illinois Pension Massacre.

    The ultimate nickel and dime scheme, legislative pension and retiree healthcare benefit hikes and local salary and benefit hikes, which cannot be diminished or impaired.

    Taxpayers MUST fund pensions no matter how unfair the pensions are.

    This is the point in the story where the public sector union uses someone with a modest pension who is scraping by, never explaining the full story, such as, what year did that person retire, how many years did they work, how much did they contribute to their pension, what age did they retire at, etc; all of what are needed to determine if a pension is “fair.”

    Recession, Depression, no matter what, those hiked pensions get paid.

    So legislative pension and retiree healthcare benefit hikes, and local salary and benefit hikes, hike pensions, which hikes taxing district contributions, and then business cannot afford the taxes, so business wants a TIF tax break.

    Now how many people understand the unfunded pension and retiree healthcare liabilities, and all the bond debt service, that they are responsible for, at the local, county, and state levels, not to mention Federal.

    No one.

    So state legislators were perfectly fine passing along to you future tax hikes in the form of current benefit hikes, yet never explaining to you what the future tax hikes were projected to be.

    So how about demanding some transparency for what the government has already obligated you for, then decide about any overt or covert tax hikes.

    The government does not prohibit you from doing that.

    You can pick a taxing district, and with public databases, the taxing district website, and FOIA, at least make a dent at understanding the current situation and what has transpired.

    Or you could pick a pension fund.

    Or you could pick a retiree healthcare fund.

    How is Rauner going to fix 44 years of legislative pension and retiree healthcare hikes?

    No matter what the solution, taxpayers will get some combination of tax hikes and service cuts, somehow.

    Because lots of local taxing districts receive state funding.

    If state funding decreases to local taxing districts, then local taxing districts have to make cuts or hike taxes.

    Those legislative pension and retiree healthcare hikes had not one iota of fiscal sustainability in them.

    Well there were so many, some just about every year the last 44 years, maybe a couple were fully funded.

    Then again, maybe not, since the legislators which hiked the pensions and retiree healthcare never bothered to make a list and keep track of all the hikes.

    Where was the thermostat?

    Hey, we had hikes last year, how is the funding of those hikes coming along.

    Ditto for the next 44 years.


    Obviously funding pension hikes was not a priority.

    But creating more pension hikes to already underfunded pensions was a priority.


    It was not done for fiscal reasons.

    It was done for political reasons to get re-elected.

    All sorts of bogus actuarial rules and assumptions were used.

    Now it’s a big game.

    How long can we keep the pensions and retiree healthcare underfunded.

    They have been underfunded for decades, can’t they remain underfunded.

    Using your property and your taxes as collateral.

    Taking a little money from a lot of people, that’s the legislators game, with the salary and benefit hikes.

    But it’s worse than that.

    Because they only take a little now, the rest is an IOU, and they have no clue how the IOU will be funded.

    And the future never seems to come.

    The years go by, just keep hiking pension and retiree healthcare benefits.

    Have pension holidays meaning don’t fund the pension.

    So if you don’t have to fund the pension, more funding for salary and benefit hikes, which fund the pension.

    Then issue pension bonds to fund the pension.

    If you issue pension bonds to fund the pension, you have to pay back the bondholders, so you are gambling the return on investment exceeds the cost.

    Issuing pension bonds is not an accepted pension funding method in the pension world.

    It’s not illegal, but you will not find that method in the good ways to fund a pension book.

    By the way the Village of Lakewood does not video tape it’s board meetings.

    The board meetings should be videotaped and archived on the village website.

    Lots of nice pleasant looking people at the board and working for the village, why are they hiding what is said at board meetings.

    It’s not that technical of a job to videotape a board meeting and post it on the village website.

    We are sophisticated enough for TIFs and to regulate building a Sportsplex but not sophisticated enough to videotape board meetings?

  12. In a TIF district there is no reduction of revenues to the taxing bodies.

    That is why none of them voted against this.

    The taxes collected are the same and the basis is established.

    All the taxing bodies still receive the same amount of revenues.

    When a project is built, new fair market value is created and it is taxed at that rate.

    The increment goes into a fund to pay for TIF eligible expenses that are part of State law.

    They are not decided by the Village.

    They are then paid out.

    None of this affects the Villages general fund or any taxpayer money.

    When complete, it gives the taxpayers a huge boost in revenue and lowers taxes for all.

    If we do not come up with new revenues, then towns must raises taxes, this is a way to not tax the citizens and benefit the area.

  13. Illinois Policy Institute

    $203 billion and counting: Total debt for State and Local Retirement Debt in Illinois.
    June 20, 2012

    State retirement debt:
    State Pensions: $82 Billion
    State Pension Obligation Bonds: $15 Billion
    State Retiree Health Insurance: $54 Billion
    Total State retirement debt: $151 Billion

    Local retirement debt:
    Local Government Pensions: $38 Billion
    Local Government Pension and Benefit Bonds: $2 Billion
    Local Government Retiree Health Insurance: $10 Billion
    Total local retirement debt: $50 Billion

    Total State and Local Retirement Debt: $201 Billion
    (Some of the above numbers are rounded down).

    That’s just unfunded liabilities and debt on the unfunded liabilities.

    That’s a big IOU and in most cases there is not a sustainable plan to fund those underfunded pension and retiree healthcare plans.

    Add to that bond debt used to finance the building of school buildings, the purchase of Conservation District property, building park district and library buildings, etc.

    At least the bond debt has a debt service schedule aka a payment schedule.

    But in many cases taxpayers do not know how much their taxes will be increasing in upcoming years to pay those bonds in their taxing district.

    Bonds fall outside the property tax cap.

    Here’s a McHenry County tidbit from the above document.

    McHenry County (including Conservation District) retiree healthcare benefits.
    Accrued Liability: $12.3 Million.
    Value of Assets: $0 (zero).
    Unfunded Liability: $12.3 Million.
    Funded Ratio: $0 (zero).
    Covered Payroll: $54.9 Million.
    Ratio of Unfunded Liability to Payroll: 20.6%


    McHenry County, as many local communities, is not funding, as of June 20, 2012, it’s retiree healthcare plan.

    So when employees retire and participate in the plan, McHenry County will have to start funding those benefits.

    Cary is also listed in the report.

    So before we talk about tax diversions in the name of TIF for the Sportsplex, understand the taxes you are obligated for unfunded pension and retiree healthcare, and bond debt service, for each taxing district.

    That’s the point.

    Unless you draw a line in the sand and make an issue of it, it will not happen.

    Which means someone down the road gets the shaft, be it the person who buys your house, your kids, your grandkids, your neighbor when you retire in Florida, whatever the case may be.

  14. A TIF freezes the equalized assessed value (EAV).

    During the TIF period which is often 23 years, taxes from TIF property to taxing districts (schools, park district, library, municipality, etc.) thus remain constant (do not increase).

    Incremental taxes in subsequent years, the increases that the taxing districts would receive, go to the TIF district / fund.

    So taxing district revenue from the TIF district property is constant through the life of the TIF.

    But taxing district revenue from other properties in the taxing district are not constant through the life of the TIF.

    Their are a few alternatives to funding a TIF.

    Issue Revenue Bonds to get a lump sum upfront.

    Or fund as you go, whereas the TIF district gets the tax revenue annually as it comes in.

    In either scenario, the proceeds are used to develop / rehab the TIF property.

    Development might be roads, curbs, sidewalks, water, sewer, etc.

    If Revenue Bonds are issued, the incremental tax revenue is used to pay bondholders.

    If Revenue Bonds are not used, the incremental tax revenue goes to the developer of the TIF district.

    Either way, the incremental tax revenue that would have gone to taxing districts is used to develop the TIF district.

    TIFs are not a panacea.

    They don’t always pan out.

    Sometimes the incremental revenue lost during the TIF life is not compensated by increase in EAV at the end of the TIF.

    Sometimes the TIF does not generate enough revenue to cover the semi-annual or annual Revenue Bond payment to the bond investors.

    Something to consider.

    What will happen in the next 23 years (or whatever the lifespan of the TIF) at Route 176 & Route 47.

    Maybe nothing will happen this year.

    But how about subsequent years.

    2015: Year 0
    2020: Year 5
    2025: Year 10
    2030: Year 15
    2035: Year 20
    2038: Year 23.

    Randall Road corridor is built.

    Westward expansion will be along Route 47.

    Development is occurring along Route 47 in Huntley.

    Another thing to consider.

    Once you start issuing TIF bonds along Route 47 or 176, where do you stop?

    The next developer will want a TIF also.

    Probably a good time to get a handle on the TIFs in your town.

    Just about every town has at least one TIF district now.

    Sportsplexes of various sizes have been popping up in the area and state.

    Usually they are more focused on indoor or outdoor.

    Some are public, some are private, some are focused on a sport or two.

    The Lakewood one is on a bigger scale and is indoor and outdoor.

    St. Charles





    Westmont Yard


    So you want your Sportsplex development assistance and your pension benefit hikes and retiree healthcare benefit hikes and all the bond projects and salary hikes and does anyone have a clue where all this money is going to come from.

    Actually they do have a clue where it is coming from.


    But they don’t exactly know how to tell you how much of your money they have obligated you to pay, and when those payments are coming due and for how much each year and from what taxing districts and the variety of other taxes and fees they have.

  15. At present there is no substantive tax revenue from the tif parcel.

    There are also no substantive expenses needed to be borne by the rest of the tax paying citizens in the school district and county.

    Tifs capture each subsequent year’s tax on property within the tif, and give it to the tif.

    Each subsequent year, taxing bodies can only collect the higher taxes legally available from all residents outside the tif.

    So, if the creation of the tif creates higher expenses( for instance each child in school costs each household roughly $6000 annually), those expense must be absorbed and paid by all households outside the tif.

    Tifs are long lived: they keep the incremental higher taxes For 23-30 years.

    Think of the normal inflation which occurs in 23 years.

    What was your income, or property tax, or the price of a car or bag of groceries 23 years ago?

    For 23-30 years our property taxes will need to rise even more, as the tif builds more and creates more demands on the community at large.

    Impact fees paid by tifs are one year only: they do not address the annual expenses which are created by tifs existence and must be borne by property taxpayers for 23-30 years.

    Schools are agreeing with this because the tif will make EAV skyrocket ( property now assessed at zero will be assessed at substantial high amounts).

    This matters because a school may issue bonds and borrow money based upon a percentage of the Districts EAV.

    If EAV skyrockets the school will issue bonds and borrow money and all that debt and interest will be paid by homeowners/taxpayers OUTSIDE the tif.

    tifs cost a lot of money to the community at large.

    Lakewood may be legally entitled to create this tif to raise some amount of tax revenue for their own narrow use.

    But the community at large may determine it is worth paying Lakewood some sum of money to NOT create a tif. (every dollar Lakewood earns will cost affected citizens multiples of that amount in raised property taxes).

  16. Part of the Sportsplex will be built on land entirely occupied by Crystal Woods Golf Course?

    Crystal Woods Golf Course and that whole area has a Woodstock address.

    So with this development a Woodstock address becomes a Lakewood address?

    The property is being annexed from the county to Lakewood?

    How much tax revenue does Crystal Woods Golf Course generate annually?

    Are Crystal Woods Golf Course revenues down?

    I’m sure the county knows how much tax revenue Crystal Woods Golf Course has generated each of the last 23 years.

    Is the golf course profitable?

    Many golf courses are losing money after the 2007 mortgage bond crisis.

    So Crystal Woods Golf Course gets a better price on its property thanks to a taxpayer funded TIF?

    Crystal Woods Golf Course could be identified as Crystal Woods Golf Course on the Village of Lakewood’s Proposed Illinois Route 47 and Illinois Route 176 Tax Increment Financing District Map 2 RPA Boundary and Existing Land Use.

    But it’s not.

    Instead the golf course is identified as Open Space / Recreation.

    That’s a misleading label.

    Open Space / Recreation doesn’t sound like a tax revenue generating private golf course.

    Open Space / Recreation sounds like non tax generating public land.

    Isn’t most of the rest of the land farmland?

    How much tax revenue does that farmland generate annually for each of say the last 23 years.

    23 years is the life of a typical TIF.

    Then if we find out how much tax revenue that property has been generating for the past 23 years, we have a better idea on how to forecast how much tax revenue the property will be generating for the next 23 years, if absolutely nothing changes.

    To say no development would happen without the TIF is a stretch.

    As a matter of fact the Sportsplex likely anticipates surrounding property to be developed.

    Sportsplexes don’t build in the middle of nowhere.

    Sportsplexes need customers to generate revenue.

    Their business model likely anticipates future residential growth in the area.

    The taxpayers don’t have all the information to make an informed decision yet as to if their incremental taxes would be better off with the tax districts currently slated to receive the revenue, or with the proposed TIF.

  17. Village of Lakewood
    Press Release
    Special Informational Meeting

    The Village of Lakewood is pleased to announce that an informational meeting to review the proposal for a development at the southwest corner of the intersection of Illinois Route 47 and Illinois Route 176 will be held at Turnberry Country Club, 9600 Turnberry Trail, at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 20.

    When asked about the proposal, President Smith said, “While we were disappointed that the project did not move forward in 2010, we believe that the project recently submitted is much stronger and will provide greater long-term benefits for our community and McHenry County. Given the significance of the project, we want to provide an informal opportunity for residents to learn more about the project.”

    Formal consideration of the proposal is scheduled for Tuesday, January 27 beginning at 7:00 p.m. This meeting will also be held at Turnberry Country Club.

  18. Village of Lakewood

    Tax Increment Financing (“TIF”) Eligibility Study and Redevelopment Plan and Project

    Illinois Route 47 & Illinois Route 176 Redevelopment Project Area

    Final Report: November 12, 2014
    45 pages

    SB Friedman – Development Advisors

    Determination of Eligibility

    This report concludes that the IL-47 & IL-176 RPA is eligible for Tax Increment Financing (“TIF”) designation as a “blighted area” for vacant parcels and as a “conservation area” for improved parcels. Eligibility factors are defined under the Act at 65 ILCS 5/11-74.4-3 (a) and (b), and are more fully described herein.
    page 1 (page 3 of pdf)

    Recreation/Open Space.

    The Crystal Woods and Craig Woods Golf Clubs account for three (3) parcels within the Redevelopment Project Area (RPA.
    page 5 (pdf page 7)

  19. Now why has that 45 page taxpayer paid TIF study not been plastered on the home page of the village website since November 12, 2014.

    That study was nowhere to be found on the village website a few days ago.

  20. More from the TIF study.

    Existing Land Use
    Based on SB Friedman’s research, five (5) land uses have been identified within the IL-47 & IL-176 RPA:

    – Vacant
    – Commercial
    – Residential
    – Recreation/Open Space
    – Infrastructure/Utilities

    The existing land use pattern in the RPA is shown in Map 2 on page 7.

    The following is a description of these EXISTING land uses in the RPA:

    Vacant. Approximately 59% of the RPA parcels (22 out of 37 parcels) are vacant.

    Infrastructure/Utilities. There is a Commonwealth Edison power line that crosses three (3) vacant parcels in the northern portion of the RPA.

    Commercial. Commercial land in the RPA includes two (2) parcels, both located along IL-176 in the northwest corner of the RPA.

    Residential. Ten (10) parcels within the RPA contain residential uses.

    Crop land is now “blighted” or “conservation areas” for TIF purposes.

    Farmers receive federal subsidies for crop land.

    So the Federal government is subsidizing crop land which is then designated as blighted or conservation area so it can get further local property tax subsidies for development.

    Recreation/Open Space. The Crystal Woods and Craig Woods Golf Clubs account for three (3) parcels within the RPA.

    So SB Friedman does not classify any of the EXISTING land as being used for agriculture / farming.

    They don’t classify crop land as crop land.

  21. The land outside the TIF area has suffered a larger decline in EAV than the land in the TIF area, according to the TIF study for the 5 year period 2008-09 thru 2012-13.

    Land outside TIF: -24.95 EAV decline
    Land inside TIF: -22.91 EAV decline

    page 15 (17 of the pdf) in the SB Friedman TIF study.

    EAV = equalized assessed value.

  22. So if the land outside the TIF area suffered a larger EAV decline over that 5 period than the land inside the TIF area, maybe the entire village of Lakewood should be declared a TIF district.

    If that were to occur, all property taxes in Lakewood are frozen, and the property tax revenue goes back to the property owner to reinvest in their own property.

    Or instead of the pay as you go TIF, property owners could go the bond TIF route and issue a bond upfront to receive revenue upfront, borrowing against their future property tax hikes.

  23. The proposed Route 47 / Route 176 TIF consists of:

    – 37 tax parcels (22 vacant and 15 improved)
    – 331 acres of vacant land (55% of total)
    – 278 acres of improved land (45% of total)
    – 45 buildings (not including ancillary structures)
    – 2013 EAV of $1,796,649.
    – 2037 EAV projected to be $34,000,000 – Tax year 2037 – collection year 2038.

    There is no mention of how much tax revenue the 37 tax parcels has generated in the past.

    For that we would want to know the tax rate for each of the 37 parcels.

    SB Friedman concluded the properties within the proposed TIF were TIF eligible based on the following criteria:

    – Classified a Blighted Area for the Vacant Land due to following 2 criteria
    – Lack of Growth in Equalized Assessed Value (“EAV”)
    – Obsolete Platting.
    – Note 12 of the 22 vacant parcels totaling 294 of 331 acres throughout the RPA show evidence of obsolete platting

    “Blighted areas” are those improved or vacant areas with blighting influences that are impacting the public safety, health, morals or welfare of the community, and are substantially impairing the growth of the tax base in the area.

    The obsolete platting includes parcels of limited or narrow size, or configurations of parcels of irregular size or shape that would be difficult to develop on a planned basis and in a manner compatible with contemporary standards and requirements, or platting that failed to create rights-of-way for streets or alleys or that created inadequate right-of-way widths for streets, alleys or other public rights-of-way, or that omitted easements for public utilities.

    – Classified as a Conservation Area for the Improved Land due to following 4 criteria
    – Lack of Growth in Equalized Assessed Value (“EAV”)
    – Inadequate Utilities
    – Lack of Community Planning
    – Presence of Structures below Minimum Code Standards
    – Note 24 of 45 buildings buildings were 35 years or older.

    “Conservation areas” are those Improved areas that are deteriorating and declining and soon may become blighted if the deterioration is not abated.

  24. If you look at the two drawings above, one of the Sportsplex, the other of the TIF (aka RPA) area, a large portion of the Sportsplex is not in the TIF.

    The Chicagoland Sportsplex area east of Hamilton Road, south of Pleasant Valley Road, and west of Swanson Road, is not in the TIF.

    That’s conservatively 1/4 of the Chicagoland Sportsplex.

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