A McHenry View of Lakewood’s TIF

The following was written by Steve Stanek.  His experience with Tax Increment Financing Districts goes back at least as far as the one then-McHenry Mayor Pam Althoff championed and probably further since the life-long McHenry County resident has been tracking tax increment financing since the 1980s.

TIF District Arrogance [my title]

No one knows what will happen more than 20 years in the future.

Yet Lakewood officials have claimed that ability by creating a huge Tax Increment Financing district near Routes 47 and 176.

It’s an ability municipal officials arrogantly claim every time they create a TIF district.

Think of some of the things that did not exist 23 years ago, the standard length of time a TIF district lasts – iPhones, high-definition TVs, Facebook, Google . . . and the taxpayer-subsidized Motorola cell phone plant in Harvard.

Local officials gushed like schoolgirls at the flood of tax dollars, jobs and development the facility would bring when it opened 18 years ago.

Instead, this 1.5 million-square-foot building has stood empty nearly 12 years, twice as long as it was in use.

Lakewood officials are making similar lofty claims for their TIF district.

Don’t be surprised if it has similar dismal results.

Lawmakers invented TIF more than 30 years ago to redevelop blighted areas, which were defined as having chronically high rates of poverty, crime, unemployment, dilapidated and abandoned buildings, etc.

TIF areas freeze property taxes that go to local taxing bodies. As property values rise through inflation and redevelopment, the increase in tax collections – the “increment” – pays for the TIF projects.

Real estate developers soon began twisting the law to their advantage, and government officials went along.

Today one-third of Chicago is in TIF districts, many of them in wealthy parts of the city, including the financial district where the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago are located.

On the North Shore of Lake Michigan, home to some of the wealthiest communities in the Midwest, a TIF district included a Ferrari/Maserati dealer.

Furey, Ken looking right waist up

Gene Furey

In the Lakewood case, officials resorted to TIF’s “but for” finding – but for TIF no development would occur.

It’s a laughable claim. Lakewood Trustee Gene Furey admitted as much during the village’s TIF meeting when he told the audience,

“One way or another, there’s going to be development on Route 47.”

[See story here.]

No one should be surprised when TIF consultants say an area qualifies for TIF.

Promoting TIF is how they make money.

This is why they find blight and no prospect of development in Chicago’s high-rent financial district, posh suburbs with Ferrari/Maserati dealers, and near Routes 47 and 176.

Lakewood officials say they’ll use TIF to extend sewer and water services.

Across McHenry County people own property in “special service areas” that charge extra taxes for extending sewer, water or other services.

They pay tax on top of tax.

Most developers also put in their own infrastructure in addition to paying taxes.

But with TIF they don’t pay extra for those amenities.

Instead, their normal taxes fund them.

Wouldn’t you like your normal taxes to pay to upgrade your home?

TIF too often is a corporate welfare racket run by people who act like little empire builders and who probably would not have been elected if they had revealed their plans to reshape their towns.

Understand [emphasis added below]:

TIFs are stealth tax increases.

MushroomsFor more than two decades they divert money that should go to schools and other taxing bodies.

To make up for this, the taxing bodies raise taxes on the rest of us.

The Washington, D.C.-based Tax Foundation has documented that McHenry County in 2010 (the most recent year with full information) had the 24th-highest average property tax burden in the nation.

TIF districts sprouting like mushrooms are one reason why.


A McHenry View of Lakewood’s TIF — 36 Comments

  1. To late, it’s a done deal.

    What I found astounding was the photo Cal posted on this blog that showed how few residents attended the meeting where the TIF was shoved down Lakewood residents throats.

    The fact is people could care less.

    They have their nice paychecks from their out of town high paying jobs.

    Many, like my own brother, never, ever, vote.

    They rather not be bothered as it’s easier to just write a check, jump into their sports cars with their names gleaming from their custom license plates looking for a golf course in the area that is not shuttered.

    Sooner or later, as is the case here, the powers that be know that their constituents will ultimately turn a blind eye and when they do, the music plays, “Sock it to me!!”

  2. Fewer attended the last meeting because it was made clear at the penultimate meeting that it had been a done- deal since prior to the initial meeting.

  3. So who’s getting the next 30 year tax freeze deal, in that ‘blighted’ area?

    Costco, Bass Pro?

  4. The TIF is not a done deal.

    Until the money is raised and spent, this project can be stopped.

    Paul Serwatka is running as a write-in candidate for trustee.

    He is making his campaign a referendum on the TIF.

    And in two years, four more members of the Village Board will be up for election and I have a strong premonition that none of them will be re-elected if they push the TIF.

    So if the Board doesn’t stop it now, in two years, a new board is likely to put the brakes on the project.

  5. TIF fights are an excellent commentary on how important it is to watch government, in all respects, and actively question each decision every day.

    Vigilance married to eternal patience will allow this great nation to continue.

    Political activism isn’t just the sexiness of a campaign where cults rise and fall around personalities.

    Effective political activism, in this particular case, is marrying the brilliant analysis of a few with the zealous campaigning of others with a long term strategy to win.

    Right now there is the activism of awareness Cal offers with the analysis of such as Mark, Steve, Susan and others.

    The next step is to begin a long term campaign including a strategy of politically ruining those who work to enslave the population economically for generations.

    Who will direct this campaign?

    Who will pay for this campaign?

    Who will offer expertise and best practices to win this campaign in the short as well as long term?

    Find these pieces and begin to win rather than wish.

  6. Some good points “Priest.”

    Where can we find the “pieces and begin to win rather than wish?” This is the conundrum.

    It’s going to take people who don’t mind getting dirty when their name is dragged through the mud should they push to far.

    I might direct you to the six year fight, down and dirty, exposing the truth, to exact change in the McHenry County Sheriff’s office.

    Who wants the job?

    “Most” folks don’t want to be bothered and that is just plain truth. They don’t like confrontation, they don’t want to make enemies, they just want peace in their lives and if that means writing a check, well, they rather write the check.

  7. The relatively new Lakewood TIF document has vanished from the village website.

    What happened is a second TIF document appeared on the home page of the village website after the January 27, 2015 TIF approval.

    It was discovered a few days ago.

    But now it’s been taken down from the home page of the village website.

    But it’s still on the village website, maybe a hidden link or buried somewhere.

    “Village of Lakewood, IL
    Illinois Route 47 Business District
    Redevelopment Plan
    Report: January 23, 2015″
    – 21 pages

    This next document is still on the home page of the village website.

    It’s the document that was available before the January 27th meeting.

    Village of Lakewood, IL
    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

  8. The Village of Lakewood has the Fiscal Year 2015 (FY 2015) Salaries on its website for those employees that earn over $75,000 and contribute to the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) pension fund.

    Such a posting is required by law, specifically, Public Act 97-609 (PA 97-0609) that became effective on January 1, 2012.

    The current Village of Lakewood fiscal year runs from to May 1, 2014 – April 30, 2015.


    http://www.village.lakewood.il.us > Departments > Finance > Employee Compensation Report.

    Department Title Compensation Vehicle Vacation Personal Sick Holidays

    Catherine Peterson
    Village Manager
    Compensation: $133,500.
    Vehicle: $3,000.
    Vacation: 160 hours (20 days)
    Personal: 24 hours (3 days)
    Sick: 80 hours (10 days)
    Holidays: 8 days
    Total Days Don’t Have to Work: 41 (8 weeks, 1 day)

    Shannon Andrews
    Deputy Village Manager
    Compensation: $101,500
    Vehicle: zero.
    Vacation: 120 hours (15 days)
    Personal: 24 hours (3 days)
    Sick: 80 hours (10 days)
    Holidays (8 days)
    Total Days Don’t Have to Work: 36 (7 weeks, 1 day)

    Leigh Rawson
    Police Chief
    Compensation: $95,000
    Vehicle: $2,400
    Vacation: 160 hours (20 days)
    Personal: 24 hours (3 days)
    Sick: 80 hours (10 days)
    Holidays: 8 days
    Total Days Don’t Have to Work: 41 (8 weeks, 1 day)

    Christopher Neuhart
    Redtail Golf Clubhouse Manager
    Compensation: $85,488.
    Vehicle: zero.
    Vacation: 160 hours (20 days)
    Personal: 24 hours (3 days)
    Sick Days: 80 hours (10 days)
    Holidays: 8 days
    Total days Don’t Have to Work: 41 (8 weeks, 1 day)

    Barry Wickersheim
    Public Works Foreman
    Compensation: $80,125
    Vehicle: zero.
    Vacation: 240 Hours (30 days)
    Personal: 24 Hours (3 days)
    Sick: 80 Hours (10 days)
    Holidays: 8 Days
    Total Days Don’t Have to Work: 51 (10 weeks, 1 day).

  9. The revised budget of $1.25 million on new tif documents supports the belief that Lakewood is in this for the profit.

    And the profit to Lakewood managers will be huge.

    And it will come in large part at the expense of Woodstock taxpayers.

    As Lakewood builds 100 new housing units in the tif, children will be sent to Woodstock D200 ( no Lakewood children attend that school district now, and no Lakewood tax dollars go to that school district now).

    Zero tax dollars paid by tif residents go to the school district which tif children must attend. All tif tax dollars go to Lakewood city managers who give that money to developers and land owners of their choice, without oversight.

    100 housing units wil produce roughly 60 students ( by census: about 3 persons per household, about 20% of population school-aged).

    Woodstock D200 charges taxpayers $10,000 per year per student.
    60 x $10,000= $600,000 annually that Woodstock taxpayers will be obligated to pay.

    Over the next 35 years, that $600,000 annual cost will grow and grow, raising property taxes even higher in Woodstock ( taxes are 4% of property value now).

    As taxes rise, home prices must continue to decline.

    The cost of carry of a home in Woodstock is extraordinarily high compared to any place else in America.

  10. Next we have the subsidization of Lakewood fire protection by Woodstock taxpayers.

    Lakewood is on a contract, while Woodstock residents pay a percentage of property tax to Woodstock Fire Rescue District.

    Lakewood is angling to become a member of the Woodstock District and be included on its tax rolls.

    This would have the effect of raising even more tif money for Lakewood managers,while the entire burden of paying for Fire and Rescue will fall to Woodstock taxpayers( and non-tif Lakewood residents to some degree but likely not as much as they would have been paying under a contractual relationship with the Fire District).

    Tifs create ‘phantom’ tax income that is diverted away from taxing bodies.

    Tifs create need for more fire and rescue protection equipment and personnel, to cover new buildout.

    Even if there is ‘excess capacity’ in this fire district today, it is capacity which has been paid for by Woodstock taxpayers for existing structures..

    Excess capacity should be reserved for paying customers.

    Tif residents and businesses are NOT paying customers of a fire and rescue district (any more than they are paying customers of a school).

    The amount Lakewood pays annually on its fire contract now might be questioned .

    Is it based on number of housing units, value of housing units?

    Distance and land area to be covered?

    What is the portion of liability insurance that is apportioned to Lakewood as opposed to Woodstock ( one Lakewood home has the monetary value of ten Woodstock homes, so this might be a function of comparative EAVs)?

    New tif buildings have not been defined. Additional costly fire and rescue needs, and liability insurance costs, can be factored into negotiations for a new contract between Lakewood and Woodstock Fire and Rescue.

    It may be that Woodstock Fire and Rescue finds it can save money for its own tax base, it’s own Wiodstock residents, by foregoing any relationship with Lakewood and its tif.

  11. A note about the above comment about the Village of Lakewood salaries and compensation for those employees with over $75,000 compensation.

    State law, taxing district policy, and pension law varies on rules and polices to allow unused vacation, personal, and sick days to be:

    1) exchanged for cash at the end of the year
    2) carried over until retirement
    3) exchanged for cash at retirement
    4) converted to years of service credit at retirement (allowing one to retire at an earlier age).

    Statewide it’s a massive expenditure of taxpayer dollars annually.

    And it effects every single taxpayer.

    And it’s at the expense of services, although it’s defended as being in lieu of compensation.

    The biggest hit to taxpayers is teachers and administrators can carry over up to two years (340 days) of unused sick leave until retirement, at which time they can exchange the unused days for years of service credit (to retire at age 55 instead of age 57 for example) or cash.

    Obviously an unused sick day does not fund the TRS Pension Fund one penny.

    And TRS is one of the worst funded pension funds in the United States at around 40%, meaning 60% of the money that should be in the fund right now is not there, so investment returns are not being earned on that 60%, and investment returns should be the largest contributor to the pension fund.

    So back to the Village of Lakewood.

    Village taxpayers can submit a FOIA request for the number of vacation, personal, and sick days that are carried over each of the last 15 years, per employee, naming the employee and their title, for example.

    And submit a FOIA request for the amount of vacation, personal, and sick days that are exchanged for cash each of the last 15 years, per employee, naming the employee and their title.

    Year – Employee Name – Employee Title – Vacation Days – Personal Days – Sick Days

    Year – Employee Name – Employee Title – Vacation Dollars – Personal Dollars – Sick Dollars

    Anyone can submit such a FOIA request.

    Just send an email to the FOIA officer (which is listed on the taxing district or government website), stating this is a FOIA request, and you would like the data sent back to you via email, preferably in an Excel spreadsheet format (assuming you have Excel).

    Effective Jan 1, 2015, citizens can now be charged for FOIA requests in certain situations.

    That’s targeted to large requests, the details are in the law.

    This is not a large request.

    I have not heard of a citizen being charged for such a FOIA request.

    If one was to be cautious, they could state in the FOIA request, if there is to be a charge, to notify you before fulfilling the request…not sure how that would play out…they may say they are not sure at this point…who knows.

    But politically if they do charge you, you could make their life miserable in the press, because here they are earning income off your tax dollars in the name of unused vacation, personal, and sick days.

    Income which is largely hidden from the taxpayer.

    Yet they are charging you a fee for a FOIA request to discover about this hidden compensation.

    Or if you are charged call Althoff and send her the invoice, she’s the one that sponsored the bill to charge certain taxpayers for FOIA requests.

    Better yet ask her office to tell you the bill numbers, public act numbers, and explain the law to you.

    The taxing district could have such a report on their website, but none of them do.

  12. Well, well, well, what we have here is more “Corruption McHenry County Style” People in this county are struggling and they want to put money into this building. Some more rats, walking and talking like rats. Hmmmmm similar to what they did in an attempt to bring in the power plant in Oakwood Hills.

    Priest you are so right when you said:

    “TIF fights are an excellent commentary on how important it is to watch government, in all respects, and actively question each decision every day.

    Vigilance married to eternal patience will allow this great nation to continue”

    The people need to get out and fight this one.

    Nothing will come of this except more tax dollars being spent and wasted.

    Bachman is right. in part, putting the breaks on this means bringing in people like Paul Swertka.

  13. Catherine J Peterson – Village Manager
    2014 – $134,582
    2013 – $127,076
    2012 – $125,892
    2011 – $127,954
    2010 – $115,082
    2009 – $112,129
    2008 – $106,836
    2007 – $101,751
    2006 – $096,038
    2005 – $091,984
    2004 – $076,837
    2003 – $072,861
    2002 – $034,900

    Shannon K Andrews – Deputy Village Manager
    2014 – $81,287
    2014 – $23,899 – Lake in the Hills – Assistant Village Manager
    2013 – $97,470 – Lake in the Hills – Assistant Village Manager
    2012 – $93,292 – Lake in the Hills
    2011 – $90,227 – Lake in the Hills
    2010 – $88,184 – Lake in the Hills
    2009 – $89,407 – Lake in the Hills
    2008 – $80,509 – Lake in the Hills
    2007 – $80,458 – Lake in the Hills
    2006 – $73,254 – Lake in the Hills
    2005 – $57,918 – Lake in the Hills
    2004 – $50,372 – Lake in the Hills

    Leigh M Rawson – Police Chief
    2014 – $046,837
    2013 – $111,963 – Elgin – Police Lieutenant
    2012 – $107,090 – Elgin – Police Lieutenant

    Christopher J Neuhart – Redtail Golf Clubhouse Manager
    2014 – $85,146
    2013 – $82,937
    2012 – $80,568
    2011 – $79,387
    2010 – $78,935
    2009 – $77,375
    2008 – $75,251
    2007 – $72,229
    2006 – $68,920
    2005 – $35,278

    Barry L Wickersheim – Public Works Foreman
    2014 – $88,003
    2013 – $80,498
    2012 – $76,127
    2011 – $75,721
    2010 – $74,492
    2009 – $74,525
    2008 – $77,565
    2007 – $75,043
    2006 – $67,987
    2005 – $65,176
    2004 – $62,147
    2003 – $63,059
    2002 – $59,049
    2001 – $56,184
    2000 – $49,013

    Source: Open the Books

    http://www.OpenTheBooks.com > Illinois > Category: Employee Compensation > Select Category: State/Local Employee Salaries > Area of Government: Village, Township, County, Park, Library, Local > Continue > Employer Name: Village of Lakewood.

    Caution on Open the Books. Sign up (free) first. Otherwise there is a good chance you will lose your data during searches after the donate prompt appears, it’s a quirk in their system.

  14. The 2012 & 2013 Data for Leigh M Rawson came from the Better Government Association (BGA) Database.

    http://www.bettergov.org > Payroll Database > First Name: Leigh > Last Name: Rawson > View Results.

    BGA does not have many year 2014 Salaries including Elgin.

    Also BGA “years” are approximate as BGA lists “year” as “data year” which is the year they obtained the data, not the fiscal year.

    OpenTheBooks.com lists Elgin Municipal but not police.

    Police and Fire are very problematic for municipalities.

    Through collective bargaining their salaries and benefits (sick days, personal days, vacation days, etc.) have increased often dramatically especially the last 15 years; coupled with the state legislature hiking their pension benefits (Illinois Pension Code, Article 3 Police, Article 4 Fire).

    There is a very high probability there will be municipal bond defaults, property tax hikes that cause abandonment of property from municipalities, or bankruptcy of some sort (technically not possible in state law right now but none the less there’s been a few) in the next 10 years.

    The waves of salary and benefits and legislative pension and retiree healthcare hikes is approaching taxpayer shores from hikes that have benefited baby boomer and the next generation (Generation X or whatever you want to call them).

    This would be the people born in the 50’s and 60’s and even early 70’s.

    It’s coming.

    It’s been in the making since the fateful day of December 15, 1970, when one sentence was added to the Illinois State Constitution.

    Article XIII – General Provisions
    Section 5. Pension and Retirement Rights
    Membership in any pension or retirement system of the State, any unit of local government or school district, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, shall be an enforceable contractual relationship, the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired.

    So now expectations have been set in terms of retirement pensions and retiree healthcare that cannot be delivered at today’s government service level.

    Taking into account all the pensions and retiree healthcare plans and units of government in Illinois, it was never, ever about a financially viable pension & retiree healthcare system.

    It was about campaign contributions, votes, and electioneering assistance in exchange for favorable legislation, such as hiking pensions and retiree healthcare benefits at the state level; hiking state collective bargaining agreements (Governor); hiking local collective bargaining agreements (locally elected boards).

    And it’s not just those covered by the collective bargaining agreements, it’s management also.

    The number crunchers have known this for a long time but for various reasons the problem hasn’t been addressed.

    No matter what’s done, there are going to be a lot of angry folks.


  15. You can argue the fine points all you want.

    In the end it is called tyranny.

  16. David, you have properly assessed the situation nationwide.

    I might say this problem has deep roots in many different strategies employed by various groups to tear apart ANY society.

    Not just the US of A.

    By way of inadequate example….

    The movement to teach our society women are people worthy of respect who hold gifts and talents worthy of respect turned into making men self hating pussies.

    Along with marginalizing men the schools actively teach the populace to be good little ants and work hard without questioning the leadership and their dictates.

    Political, historical, economic, anthropological, sociological and traditional ignorance are rampant in our country.

    Economics play into the overall picture.

    Those perceiving they are doing well are not willing to rock the boat and those without the means to support themselves without government intervention also sitting out the fights(or on the side of tearing down this nation).

    This leaves the middle class with enough resources and education to fight an ever widening problem(indicators commented on in this site would be wild law enforcement overstepping of legal and traditional authority) but without the time because they are too busy trying to claw their way along to stay in the middle class.

    In an totally hyperbolic understatement of the problem: when you have a bunch of pussies who don’t know they need to or even how to protect their families and you have a populace too ignorant to know the government is wildly out of control and you have a shrinking group of people who even might be motivated to stand up for their rights and those people are apathetic due to being overstretched and taught the people in power are too powerful to question….

    You have a problem retaining a representative democracy.

    How do we change course nationally?

    Find one cause you believe strongly in locally.

    Become educated and involved.

    Connect to groups with the experience and education in your particular fight to help you be more effective.

    Win a small battle at the local level after years of fighting.

    Bask in the glory for five minutes.

    Move on to the next battle and try to inspire one person in your life to do the same.

    Never ever give up.

    Never let any future generation look at your life and say you were too weak to fight for their freedom.

    We may yet retain the dream of our forefathers.


  17. It’s going to take many people in McHenry County to win this battle, and many people to sustain what so many have achieved by bringing in people like Bill Prim. There will be many, many heroes along the way and everyones role in the cause is so very important. Our community, needs to continue to fight for what belongs to them. We couldn’t achieve any of the goals without people like Bachman, Mark, Priest, and so many more. We the people, are the warriors at home and it is everyone’s job to protect our government within the boundaries of the United States.

  18. I do believe a guy like Paul Swertka would stand up and shout, “We aren’t going to take this anymore!”

    Or, “No, that is not a good idea for our county and I refuse to put my name next to that plan.”

    This is a very messy business and it is protracted over a long period of time.

    Who ever you want to vote for or consider writing in on the ballot, please consider the strength of your candidates spine.

    McHenry County is such an awesome place with so much potential.

    Protect it, fight for it!

    Thank you.

  19. Just wait, it gets better!

    What I have just unearthed and presented to Cal for a story on waste in your local government.

    Anybody like brand new Harley Davidsons that over a period of two years just sat and only seven miles were put on it?

    The bike is not attached to the Sheriff’s department either.

    This one will really fire you up!

  20. McHenry County Blog

    Here’s the location on the Village of Lakewood website for the 21 page Illinois Route 47 Business District Redevelopment Plan dated January 23, 2015 (two days after the TIF was approved on January 21, 2015).

    http://www.village.lakewood.il.us > Government > Agendas and Minutes > 2015 > Illinois Route 47 Business District Redevelopment Plan.


    The 45 page TIF Eligibility Study is dated November 12, 2014.

    http://www.village.lakewood.il.us > News > TIF Eligibility Study Wednesday, November 12, 2014.

    Two different TIF documents.

    Two different locations on the village website.

    Very poor website management.

    For a proposed $66 million dollars in property tax expenditures in the TIF District, the village should have a link on its home page for the TIF, including those TIF documents, and other detailed information the village likely has or should have about the TIF.

    Summary of the two TIF documents on the Village website.

    Village of Lakewood, IL
    Illinois Route 47 Business District Redevelopment Plan
    January 23, 2015
    21 pages.

    Tax Increment Financing (“TIF”) Eligibility Study and Redevelopment Plan and Project
    Illinois Route 47 & Illinois Route 176
    Redevelopment Project Area
    November 12, 2014
    45 pages.

  21. Tuesday October 14, 2014
    McHenry County of Council Governments offices
    44 N Virginia Street, Suite 2A
    Crystal Lake, IL

    “Next the (McHenry County Council of Governments Transportation) Committee discussed Transportation projects of regional importance.

    Ms. Daigle noted that Senator Pam Althoff had requested a list of three priority projects in McHenry County that she could speak about with Acting Secretary (of the Illinois Department of Transportation) Erica Borggren.

    The Committee mentioned IL 47 through Woodstock, the IL 47/IL 176 intersection, IL 31 from IL 120 to IL 176.”


  22. Erin Smith, President, Village of Lakewood, holds two positions in the McHenry County Council of Governments.

    1. Chairwoman of the Legislative Committee.

    2. On the Executive Committee.

  23. McHenry County Council of Governments
    2015 Legislative and Transportation Agendas

    Key Corridor Projects

    “IL 47 and IL 176 Intersection Improvements

    Phase I Engineering for this project – including engineering for the realignment of Pleasant Valley Road with the south leg of the IL 47/IL 176 – wrapped up in the summer of 2014 and Design Approval is expected this spring.

    The FY 2015 IDOT Annual Program includes $1,750,000 for Phase II Engineering for contract plans for IL 47 from Reed Road to US 14.

    The current MYP does not include any funding for land acquisition or construction of this project.

    IDOT Secretary of Transportation noted that currently the intersections of IL 47 and IL 176 are
    included in the overall IL 47 reconstruction project.”


  24. The TIF blighted area (only a TIF would call the area blighted) of Rte 176 & Rte 47, which from north to south lies between Woodstock and Huntley on 47, and from west to east lays between Marengo and Crystal Lake / Lakewood on 176, is smack dab in the middle of Route 47 improvements targeted by IDOT.

    Route 47 / Route 176 improvements were included the following State of Illinois document unveiled in May of 2012:

    Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT)
    Transforming Transportation for Tomorrow
    Proposed Multi-Modal Transportation Plan
    Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 – 2020.
    Page 1-73 (Page 143 of the 441 page pdf).

    This is a Pat Quinn document.

    There are six “ILL 47, ILL 176” line items on that page all labeled as “Congestion Mitigation” and Preliminary Engineering Phase II Plan Preparation.

    1. South of IL 176 in Lakewood to Reed Road in Huntley, estimated cost of $1,000,000, year 2015.

    2. South of IL 176 in Lakewood to Reed Road in Huntley, estimated cost of 2,016,000, years 2016 – 2020.

    3. South of IL 176 in Lakewood to Reed Road in Huntley, estimated cost of 1,500,000, years 2016 – 2020.

    4. US 14 in Woodstock to S of IL Rte 176 in Lakewood, estimated cost of $750,000, year 2015.

    5. US 14 in Woodstock to S of IL Rte 176 in Lakewood, estimated cost of 1,584,000, years 2016 – 2020.

    6. US 14 in Woodstock to S of IL Rte 176 in Lakewood, estimated cost of $1,230,000, years 2016 – 2020.

    McHenry County is in IDOT Region 1, 201 West Center Court, Schaumburg, IL 60196, phone 847-705-4000.

    Here is the McHenry County only portion of the document.


    Here is the entire document.


    If the area around Illinois Route 176 & 47 are TIF blighted, what should real blighted areas called?

    War zones?

    Maybe TIF law should state pictures of the area including any abandoned buildings and crime statistics be included in TIF Eligibility Studies so one can get a sense of what is meant by blighted.

    The TIF qualification criteria in current state law seems too permissive.


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