Woodstock’s Susan Handelsman, now a candidate for the District 200 School Board, urges readers to contact to their llinois legislators and Governor Bruce Rauner in opposition to the General Assembly’s extension of the alreay 23-year Tax Increment Financing District is Downtown Woodstock for another twelve years.
Remember that EVERYONE outside the TIF who lives in an overlapping tax district pays more because of the TIF.
Contact Springfield: Oppose TIF 12 Year Extension
TIF money is money that property taxpayers must replace for schools and other public services, which goes into a fund controlled by municipal politicians with scant public access to details, regulations, or oversight.
When TIFs are created, they promise to end after 23 years.
Then, politicians quietly ask Springfield for 12 year extensions.
In the case of Woodstock TIF, $660,000 annual tax revenue is diverted (largely from schools) to a slush fund for local politicians to give away to developers or businesses of their own choosing.
Reports on TIF spending do not break down amounts, recipients, and terms of the deal with specificity like city budgets are required to do.
Next comes a communication to soon-to-be State Representative Steve Reick.
That is appropriate because, in my experience, TIF Districts are not extended without the approval of the State Rep. in whose district the TIF District is located.
Woodstock taxpayers are being crushed under the burden of 4.6% property tax rate.
We expect you to come to our defense and actively oppose the request for a 12 year extension of Woodstock TIF district.
As you know, Woodstock government recently obtained home rule status a few years early at 6-figure expense to Woodstock taxpayers, rather than waiting for the free Census which would occur in a few years anyway.
Woodstock government thereby has the power to borrow and spend at will.
This makes TIF money entirely unnecessary.
By using your elected office to spread the word in Springfield that refusing to grant Woodstock TIF a 12 year extension will accord struggling Woodstock homeowners (who are paying 4.6% property tax rates) a $700,000 annual property tax break in 2020, you will be able to fulfill your campaign promises to fight for us, to help us, in a specific unambiguous way.