While we were on vacation, Crystal Lake High School Board 155 approved a Tax Increment Financing District in Fox River Grove.
Over ten years ago, McHenry County Blog’s first article was one critical for the Crystal Lake City Council’s proposal to put lots of Route 14 into a TIF District. (Here’s what can happen if the non-municipal tax districts stick together.)
I basically think that TIF Districts are tools for municipal officials to create slush funds to subsidize private business–while at the same time–raising taxes on every property outside the TIF District by stealing future tax dollars.
The device is so complicated that hardly anyone can figure them out and, because of that, municipal officials are never held responsible for the resulting tax increases at the polls.
In Crystal Lake’s Vulcan Lakes TIF project District 47 School Superintendent Ron Miller knew what was happening and took the fight to the Crystal Lake City Council.
He won some concessions, but no tax district since then has followed in those footsteps.
On the District 155 agenda appeared the following:
Approval of Agreement Between the Village of Fox River Grove and Community High School District 155 Regarding Tax Increment Financing District #2
The TIF agreement consists of three 5-story buildings located on several parcels located along or between Lincoln Road and Algonquin Road.
There will be a total of 300 apartments built consisting of 240 one-bedroom apartments and 60-two bedroom apartments.
The resolution passed with board members Adam Guss, Amy Blazier, Ann Somers , Gary Oberg, Dave Secrest, and Ted Wagner supporting the resolution.
Board member Rosemary Kurtz voted against the resolution.
Board member Kurtz read the following statement at the meeting:
I spent some time researching tax increment financing, i.e.,TIFs, to address the proposed TIF district that is being requested by the Village of Fox River Grove.
As most of you know TIFs are used to help develop blighted urban areas that developers would not develop without government incentives.
In this case D155 will forego appreciation of tax revenues over the next 20+ years in order to fund a private residential development. Because the TIF will reduce the tax revenue to fund our schools, this will ultimately result in a tax increase for our taxpayers.
This request is happening at the same time that our tax base is being eroded with businesses moving out of our district, and the State is reducing its contributions for K-12 education.
In addition, the Illinois School Board Association has expressed concerns about the use of TIFs as well.
Consequently, at a time in which D155 is losing tax income in throughout our district, we should not further burden our taxpayers by funding this TIF.
It is just NOT fair to our taxpayers.
In summary, this TIF will reduce much needed revenue for our schools and thus escalate the already heavy tax burden on our tax payers. As a result, I cannot in good conscious support this TIF request.