More thoughts from Seneca Township resident Susan Handelsman:
WOODSTOCK TIF 2: CAN IT BE STOPPED?
Woodstock CUSD 200 has standing to file litigation to stop this TIF. The TIF study procured by Woodstock has enough similarities to the 2016 Lakewood TIF that portions of the Lakewood TIF litigation complaint (already paid for) can be used on this TIF.
As a function of risk/benefit, Woodstock CUSD 200 MUST file suit to stop this TIF: the future 35 years of blighted NON-TIF/non-frozen EAV (equalized assessed value of taxable property) will not be enough to support inflation and additional student enrollment brought about by Woodstock TIF 2.
Woodstock TIF 2 will likely offer an inter-governmental agreement to Woodstock D200 Board to forestall this lawsuit.
Woodstock D200 Board will not be so naïve as to overlook unenforceable stipulations
(such as, low income housing can be ‘carved out’ of TIF in future, so the tiny taxable future EAV of subsidized housing projects inures to D200, but that tiny amount is nowhere near the actual cost per student per year levied by D200).
Woodstock D200 Board will also not be so naive as to understand that failed TIFs with intergovernmental agreements are common in Illinois; one example is that used by then-D200-Board-member to support his enthusiastic approval of the Lakewood TIF at the time…
(in the case of failed TIFs (such as Woodstock TIF 1), non-TIF-recipient taxpayers ‘eat it’.)
- Delay a calendar year to allow time for accurate assessed value of TIF ‘FROZEN’ EAV.
The quadrennial tax assessment of property is likely to bring at least inflationary increases to the assessments of TIF PINs. The higher the “frozen” TIF PIN assessments, the better for taxpayers. BUT! It Is GREAT for Woodstock TIF 2 show-runners to hurry up and get the old assessed values locked in!!! (As written, Woodstock TIF 2 stands to get a windfall of over $200,000 year 1 annual TIF tax revenue which would ordinarily have been paid to taxing bodies like Woodstock D200. Instead, because this $200,000+ will be given to TIF, OTHER taxpayers than those within Woodstock TIF 2 will need to all chip in to PAY FOR this ‘increment’ on behalf of TIF free-riders. And that will happen the year after and the year after that, ON A CUMULATIVE BASIS, for 35 years. At least).
Also, any PINs which might be disputed as erroneously low should be given a chance for Assessor Review before all NON-TIF taxpayers are stuck paying for those errors, compounded, for the next 35 years.
Furthermore, TIF Plan authors should want to clarify the justification for inclusion of non-blighted properties such as Walmart in the TIF footprint. If TIF frozen EAV can be reduced, in order to lessen the burden on all the overburdened taxpayers OUTSIDE the TIF subsidization umbrella—indeed, those homeowners who are actually FORCED by law to Pay for those within that TIF Subsidization umbrella– City Manager and Mayor could hardly protest.
- Convince Woodstock City Council Members to vote NO.
While this may seem absurdly unlikely, these City Council Members are forced to live in Woodstock while they hold Woodstock public office.
It may be that the overwhelming majority of Woodstock taxpayers/citizens, who are disadvantaged, severely disadvantaged, and completely destroyed economically by this TIF may amass enough grassroots support to wrest politicians’ attention away from the siren song of property owners and consultants looking to get some of that $50-$100 million public tax money giveaway.
- Convince National Corporate Chains projected to build with TIF giveaway money that their businesses will be boycotted.
Walmart in this TIF? Go shop elsewhere instead. Local national chain businesses in this TIF? Go get coffee at some other Starbucks, or some non-Starbucks outside the TIF footprint. Local property owner/City Council Voting Member renting space on the Square to a business that has competitor businesses OFF the TIF footprint? Shop at the NON-TIF business, in support of the message to be sent to corporate-welfare-America. Let everyone know via social media that this devious practice of funneling public tax money to particular businesses at the devastating expense of the masses will not be tolerated here.
- Change Illinois Law.
Progressives hold every political majority in Illinois. The issue of TIF Reform should be EXACTLY in line with their stated agenda: Protecting the exploited underclasses from the privileged classes who extort poor taxpayers’ meagre resources under the false pretenses used by TIF promoters.
Progressive Democrats in Illinois should be the first line of defense for individual homeowners against economically devastating, TEACHER-PENSION-TAX-MONEY-DIVERTING, wealthy-1%-er-enrichment aspects of Tax Increment Financing.