CL High School District Votes 6-1 to Approve FRG TIF

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:

FRG mastheadApproval 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.

Roesmary Kurtz

Roesmary Kurtz

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.


CL High School District Votes 6-1 to Approve FRG TIF — 9 Comments

  1. Mrs. Kurtz seems to be the only one on the board looking out for taxpayers.

    Shame on all the others.

    My bet is that this will somehow benefit Wagner personally.

    That guy needs to go and the sooner the better.

  2. Mrs. Kurtz Is involved but she’s no hero.

    Make no mistake, she’s been compensated very well through Taxpayer pensions and a Fat Paycheck.

  3. Here’s the dollar amount this 300 unit development will require in subsidies from CL D155 taxpayers:

    There are 6600 enrollment, and the levy is $71 million.
    Therefore, the school is taking annual property tax of $10,560 per student.

    Census data indicates there are 2.8 persons per household and 22% are school aged. If 1/3 of those are in grades 9-12, then each new household is projected to produce .20 high school students per household.

    .20 x $10,560= $2112.

    300 new housing units x $2112= $633600 annually.

    TIFs last 30 years, and every year the cost will rise with inflation**.

    To the extent that other residential properties are included in the TIF footprint, these will add to the tax burden of non-TIF property tax payers, as inflation increases the costs of social service provision to these households as well.

    Furthermore, school is only one part of the property tax bill, and high school is only a part of the school tax portion.

    If we include grade school costs of TIF-produced students as the other 2/3 of .60 students-per-household created:
    (2.8 persons-per-household) x (.22 school-aged) x (.66 grade K-8) x ($10,560 per student*)= $4224 per student annually
    *(cost per grade school may/should be less than hs)

    300 x $4224= $1267200

    Adding the annual per-student school costs for K-8 and 9-12 we get $1.9 million.

    Crystal Lake property taxpayers will be paying $1.9 million the first year, and that amount will be rising with inflation, for benefit of the TIF private businesses’ profit and the politicians who will control the TIF cash flow for the next 30 years.

    But $1.9 million only covers the new apartment complex. Whatever other land or buildings are in the TIF footprint will also see inflationary assessment increases’ taxes diverted to the TIF insiders’ lock-box.

    And school taxes are around 2/3 of the property tax bill. Of course all the other taxes which property taxpayers pay for County and public services: MCC, MCCD, McHenry County, fire&rescue, library…
    these will all need to be paid on behalf of and for the benefit of the TIF households, by other taxpayers.

    We can estimate the dollar amount of that as $950,000 annually and rising with inflation for the next 30 years.

    Grand total cost to property taxpayers of this TIF: $2.85 million per year

    $2.85 million per year (first year) for the new apartment complex, plus $9500 per other new household per year, plus inflationary** costs of existing households’ property tax burden.

    **school inflationary costs are rising well in excess of CPI due to employee compensation and benefit contracts.

  4. Very disappointed in Adam Guss and Amy Blazier, they should know better, but appear to have joined the majority!

  5. My thought, the apartments may very well be a bust, unless these apartments are section 8.

    Pure stupidity by the Village of Fox River Grove, the builder and school districts agreeing to this scam.

    Now I’ll get back to looking for a new home in WI.

  6. Jim B – I agree with you 100%.

    Amy Blazier is such a disappointment.

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