A Reminder of What Happens in a TIF District

Since McHenry County Blog was started in reaction to the Crystal Lake City Council’s putting Route 14 next to the Vulcan gravel pit in a Tax Increment Financing District, perhaps you will excuse me for returning to the subject once in a while.

For those with memories that don’t go back to 2005, the Vulcan Lake TIF District was going to finance the Three Oaks Recreational Area (TORA, for short).

But right after picking Bill Cellini’s firm to do the development work, Cellini was identified as one of those “Person A” or some other designation in a U.S. Attorney’s indictment.

Cellini, who made substantial sums for the Teachers Retirement Fund from real estate investments pulled himself out of the TIF District management and, eventually, his firm withdrew as well.

Of course, anyone who drives past that Route 14 TIF district knows there has been no real estate appreciation that could possibly have paid for TORA’s development.

So, the City Council decided to high its share of the sales tax by 75% to do the same thing.

That brings us to the question of who pays for TIF-financed projects.

The answer is you, if you live or own property in McHenry County.

In his column on Thursday, the Sun-Times’ Mark Brown reminds readers of that in the context of the DePaul basketball stadium to be subsidized by Cook County taxpayers.

TIF Effect Mark Brown S-T 5-16-13

The emphasized paragraph says, “TIF districts, as I hope The Reader’s Ben Joravsky has taught most of you by now, are property tax payments the city siphons from a specific geographic area to pay for a mayor’s pet projects–depriving the schools, park district and other local taxing bodies of their share.”

Although it will be on the Chicago lakefront, every taxpayer in any tax district covering McCormick Place will help pay for it as other tax districts raise their tax takes in order to cover future losses of assessed valuation.


A Reminder of What Happens in a TIF District — 4 Comments

  1. Crystal Lake’s leadership is a sham; an absolute sham.

    The town is economically stagnant as Algoquin and Barrington flurish. Taxes are going UP as the city balance sheet is headed down. Bickering, stagnation, treachery.

    The Police Department also has been a disgrace; attacking the very businesses and individuals who are their greatest citizens and producers. They then ticket people not wearing seat belts or others crossing the railroad tracks as they go to work; and then the leadership feels good about themselves.

    Let’s place expensive monuments and street lights and make it seem like we’re doing something.

    What a joke. CL could have been the Barrington of McHenry County. Instead, provincial leadership and loser decisions like the Vulcan Lake/Route 14 fiasco have doomed the taxpayers.

  2. Crystal Lake City government is a learning ground for the McHenry County Board.

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