A View of TIFs from McHenry County

When McHenry Mayor Pam Althoff was pushing a Downtown Tax Increment Financing District, resident Steve Stanek, son of former Mayor Joe Stanek, was in opposition.

It’s been a long time since then, but Stanek is still not a fan of TIFs.

When Northwest Herald reporter Keven Craver wrote his column criticizing Lakewood’s TIF, Stanek had these comments, which are reproduced with Stanek’s permission, to make:

The Northwest Herald’s Kevin Craver has a great idea when he suggests statues to ridicule Lakewood village officials if the proposed sportsplex becomes a “Harvard Motorola ghost town but with goalposts.”

I too have a suggestion:

Demand Lakewood village board members sign a legally binding pledge that says all financial assets they own as of today’s date (so they can’t later hide assets in someone else’s name) will go to paying for the sportsplex before one penny of taxpayer money is used.

The second version of the SportsPlex will cover the following area, some of which is owned by the Village of Lakewood taxpayers.

The second version of the SportsPlex will cover the following area, some of which is owned by the Village of Lakewood taxpayers.

If village board members believe their claim the sportsplex will cost taxpayers nothing, then they should have no problem signing that pledge.

If they will not sign that pledge, then taxpayers should have no belief in their claim.


Comments

A View of TIFs from McHenry County — 2 Comments

  1. Remember the total property taxpayer dollars projected on this project is $66 Million Dollars.

    It wasn’t as if the taxpayers were presented with a plethora of choices on how they wanted to spend the $66 Million.

    The ability to obtain $66 Million Dollars culminated with a Lakewood Village Board vote.

    And the miracle of TIF is that although the Lakewood Village Board approves the TIF, most of the Tax Revenue comes from Taxing Districts other than the Village of Lakewood.

    The other Taxing Districts were allowed to voice their opinions on the TIF at a prior meeting, although at least Taxing District member claimed they didn’t get notification of that meeting.

    The Lakewood plan includes the private Crystal Woods Golf Course to be converted to a private Chicagoland Sportsplex partially subsidized by some of that $66 Million Dollars via TIF property taxes to extend water and sewer to the area, plus more.

    What else?

    Environmental cleanup.

    Environmental cleanup of what – is the golf course included in environmental cleanup?

    From the SB Friedman TIF Study.

    “Site preparation may include demolition of existing improvements and environmental remediation, where needed.”

    “Environmental Contamination. The area has incurred Illinois Environmental Protection Agency or United States Environmental Protection Agency remediation costs for, or a study conducted by an independent consultant recognized as having expertise in environmental remediation has determined a need for, the clean-up of hazardous waste, hazardous substances, or underground storage tanks required by state or federal law, provided that the remediation costs constitute a material impediment to the development or redevelopment of the redevelopment project area.”

    “Environmental Clean-Up. The proposed redevelopment project area has incurred Illinois Environmental Protection Agency or United States Environmental Protection Agency remediation costs for, or a study conducted by an independent consultant recognized as having expertise in environmental remediation has determined a need for, the clean-up of hazardous waste, hazardous substances, or underground storage tanks required by state or federal law, provided that the remediation costs constitute a material impediment to the development or redevelopment of the redevelopment project area.”

    “3. Property assembly costs, including but not limited to, acquisition of land and other property, real or personal, or rights or interests therein, demolition of buildings, site preparation, site improvements that serve as an engineered barrier addressing ground level or below ground environmental contamination, including, but not limited to parking lots and other concrete or asphalt barriers, and the clearing and grading of land;”

    “Property Assembly (including acquisition, site preparation and environmental remediation): $14,000,000.”

    No further breakdown of the $14,000,000 was provided.

    Someone must have a breakdown, it would be a little disconcerting if someone just ballparked $14 Million of envirnomental cleanup without any estimates.

    Lots of people in McHenry County are environmentally conscious.

    Surely some people must know which parcels are projected or suspected to require environmental cleanup.

    But in the SB Friedman TIF study, no detail on which parcels are projected or suspected of requiring environmental cleanup.

    The Sportsplex would be one the largest baseball, softball, tennis court, etc. complexes in the United States.

    Build it and they will come (hopefully).

    Because the taxpayers will want a return on their $66 Million in property taxes investment.

    For $66 Million the Taxpayers didn’t even get a dedicated TIF section of the Lakewood website or detailed parcel information about the TIF.

    Rather than a new website, how about the old website with more transparency?

    There is a relatively new document on the Village of Lakewood website.

    It was not on the website prior to the TIF being approved by the Board.

    “Village of Lakewood, IL
    Illinois Route 47 Business District
    Redevelopment Plan
    Report: January 23, 2015”
    http://www.village.lakewood.il.us/vertical/sites/%7BA79C7536-A08B-49AC-8F3D-38ACEDC9A6CC%7D/uploads/Lakewood_–_FINAL_Business_District_Redevelopment_Plan_1-23-2015.pdf

    This document covers only a portion of the entire TIF, that being the proposed Chicagoland Sportsplex, and a business area between the Sportsplex and Route 47.

    But some of the funding for improvements to that property would not come from property taxes.

    There’s more taxes.

    From the report.

    Total Business District Project Costs: $1,250,000.

    “Anticipated Sources of Funds to Pay Project Costs
    As required by the Act, the Village shall establish and maintain an IL-47 Business District Tax Allocation Fund (the “Fund”).

    Business District revenues generated through the Business District Retailers’ Occupation Tax and Business District Service Occupation Tax, shall be deposited or credited into the Fund.

    These taxes shall be administered as provided in the Act.

    Eligible Business District Project Costs are to be paid from these sources of revenue, as provided in the Act.

    BUSINESS DISTRICT RETAILERS’ OCCUPATION TAX
    A Business District Retailers’ Occupation Tax will be imposed upon persons in the District engaged in the business of selling tangible personal property at retail (excluding property titled or registered with an agency of the State of Illinois government) at a rate of one (1) percent of the gross receipts from the sales made in the course of such business.

    The tax may not be imposed on food for human consumption that is to be consumed off the premises from which it is sold (other than alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, and food that has been prepared for immediate consumption), prescription and nonprescription medicines, drugs, medical appliances, modifications to a motor vehicle for the purposes of rendering it usable by a disabled person, and insulin, urine testing materials, syringes, and needles used by diabetics, for human use.

    BUSINESS DISTRICT SERVICE OCCUPATION TAX
    A Business District Service Occupation Tax will be imposed upon all persons in the District engaged in the business of making sales of service, who, as an incident to making those sales of service, transfer tangible personal property within the Business District, either in the form of tangible personal property or in the form of real estate as an incident to a sale of service.

    This tax will be imposed at a rate of one (1) percent and may not be imposed on food for human consumption that is to be consumed off the premises from which it is sold (other than alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, and food that has been prepared for immediate consumption), prescription and nonprescription medicines, drugs, medical appliances, modifications to a motor vehicle for the purposes of rendering it usable by a disabled person, and insulin, urine testing materials, syringes, and needles used by diabetics, for human use.

    OTHER SOURCES OF FUNDS
    Other sources of funds that may be used to pay for development costs and associated obligations issued or incurred include land disposition proceeds, state and federal grants, investment income, private investor and financial institution funds, and other sources of funds and revenues as the municipality and developer from time to time may deem appropriate.

    Issuance of Obligations
    To finance Redevelopment Project costs, the Village may issue bonds or obligations secured by the anticipated Business District Retailers’ Occupation Tax and Business District Service Occupation Tax generated within the Il-47 Business District, or such other bonds or obligations as the Village may deem as appropriate.

    All obligations issued by the Village pursuant to this Redevelopment Plan and the Act shall be retired in the manner provided in the ordinance authorizing issuance of such obligations by the receipts of taxes from the IL-47 Business District and by any other revenue designated or pledged by Village.

    The final maturity date of any such obligations that are issued may not be later than 20 years from their respective dates of issue or the dissolution of the Business District, whichever is earlier.

    In addition to paying Redevelopment Project costs, Business District revenues may be used for the scheduled and/or early retirement of obligations, as provided in the ordinance issuing such obligations. As provided in the Act, following payment or reimbursement for all Redevelopment Project costs, any surplus funds in the Fund will be deposited into the Village’s general corporate fund.

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