Susan Handelsman Points Out $47 Million New Woodstock TIF Cost Worth Only $34 Million

Here is what Seneca Township resident Susan Handelsman, an ardent Tax Increment Financing District opponent, presented in Public Comment at Monday’s Woodstock Joint Review Board meeting.

Analyze TIF as a Promised Annuity beginning Payment in 23 years..

(Woodstock TIF 2 falls way short of price tag)

We can quantify the “something later” and the “something now”, based on projections in Woodstock TIF 2’s own plan. The description  is similar to a promised annuity.


Woodstock TIF proponents are promising you taxing bodies something later in return for something now.

The “something now” is $47 million dollars which the Woodstock TIF 2 Plan empowers Woodstock City to borrow and pledge taxing authority to collateralize, borrow against and in so doing incur further interest cost; all in order to grant these funds as personal profits for private owners of land, consultants, attorneys and bond underwriters.

The use of funds for solely-TIF related purposes is relevant in that it produces nothing of value for taxpayers or EAV to be taxed later.

The “something later” is quite similar to an annuity.

Woodstock TIF proponents claim that in 23 years (or by law 35 years with an extension which is more difficult to stop than to obtain), you taxing bodies will have ‘new EAV’ creating a perpetual revenue stream.

This perpetual revenue stream can be quantified as:

Present value of annuity at 23 or 35 years.

Susan Handelsman

Let’s quantify the best-case scenario PRESENT value of the annuity at 23 years.

Bear in mind that this is best case scenario with you taxing bodies completely disregarding the burden placed upon NON-TIF taxpayers to subsidize the TIF free-riders over the next 35 years.

You might want to consider that Woodstock’s current 4% property tax rate—

which compares to America’s average tax rate of 1.15% and Chicago’s and Illinois’ tax rate of ~2.3%

—that 4% property tax rate will rise necessarily as a function of subsidizing millions of dollars per year of TIF free-riders’ legally mandated social service provision.

When you run out of taxpayers willing or able to bear the burden of subsidizing TIF free-riders, from whom will you collect your desired levies?

Contained in handouts are supporting data for my assumptions.

The predominantly vacant parcels described in Woodstock TIF 2 Plan are compared against adjacent or nearby assessed values of parcels developed as described in Woodstock TIF 2 Plan. I rounded up and generously assumed highest use of land.

If all the Redevelopment Plan is executed perfectly, and  executed immediately, here is the Present Value of the Promised annuity compared with the $47 million dollar price tag indicated by Woodstock TIF 2 planners:

Present value of annuity at Year 23: $34 million.  (Present Cost: $47 million plus undisclosed interest rate costs and fees).  They want you to pay $47 million at present, for something that is present-valued at $34 million.

There are cheaper ways to achieve actual EAV growth derived from development rather than inflation.

The methods are within Woodstock City’s means.

They just need to hear from citizens and taxing bodies that we understand what they are up to with this TIF, and that we don’t take kindly to this financial exploitation.

Susan Handelsman   815-540-7526

p.s. The extra projected EAV is derived as a function of naturally occurring inflation on the Frozen initial TIF EAV.

You all would have gotten to tax that all along the first 35 years, but-for the TIF.

Pps.  Sales tax or use tax is a small number relative to diverted property taxes.

You can derive this easily: median household income $60,000.

Per Bureau Labor Statistics Survey: household income spent 23% on sales taxable goods and services.

Assuming the ludicrous amount of 100% of that being spent within Woodstock rather than online or elsewhere, you get 449 new households adding, at 1% sales tax, $62,000 annual revenues to City of Woodstock.

A few other retail sales locations may be developed, but are subject to incremental sales tax TIF diversion.

For that matter, Walmart PIN is still included in TIF Plan (13-16-201-008).

Incremental sales tax TIF diversion from Walmart will swamp any minuscule sales tax revenue gains from development.

Sales (use) taxes, replacement taxes, and utility increment taxes obtained by TIF are dwarfed by the millions of dollars of additional social service provision expenses engendered by new TIF housing units, and required to be paid by other taxpayers than new TIF free-riders.

These additional tax burdens are NOT addressed by TIF proponents, nor are the deleterious economic effects engendered by tax rate increases in the future 35 years which would NOT occur BUT-FOR the TIF.

The important figure for taxing bodies to remember is this:

Why would you vote yes to pay $47 million for a promised annuity that if all goes well is only worth $34 million at present value?

= = = = =
Here is McHenry County Blog’s article on the TIF meeting.


Susan Handelsman Points Out $47 Million New Woodstock TIF Cost Worth Only $34 Million — 7 Comments

  1. Speaking of TIFs, does anyone know what happened to the lawsuit that Wauconda Township and the Wauconda library and school districts filed against the Village of Lakemoor regarding the TIF created for the Woodmans site?

  2. If the average voter spent one percent as much time on studying candidate backgrounds and referendum questions as Susan does on researching her position on different subjects, my guess we would not have the dysfunctional state government we currently have.

  3. So right Outoftowner!!

    Three cheers for Susan and all she’s done to bring this and other issues to light!

  4. Very thorough analysis by Susan Handelsman.

    Do Woodstock politicians comprehend the facts she has presented?

  5. Following are the companies located at the top 20 parcels.

    This is based on 2017 taxes (paid in 2018).

    The EAV source is the following document found on the City of Woodstock website:

    “Downtown & Route 47 Tax Increment Financing District #2.

    Redevelopment Plan & Program

    Draft Report

    September 2018

    Prepared by Teska Associates, Inc.”

    The Total Tax source is the McHenry County Treasurer’s office Property Tax Lookup website, Tax Year 2017 (payable 2018).

    Company – 2017 EAV (Net Taxable Value) – Total Tax – Parcel PIN

    Wal-Mart (1275 Lake Ave) – $3,538,484 – $413,816 – 13-16-201-008

    old Silgan Plastics facility (1191 Lake Ave), now closed – $933,240 – $109,151 – 13-09-376-014

    Guardian Electric Mfgr (1425 Lake Ave) – $914,765 – $106,990 – 13-16-201-009

    Aldi / Dollar Tree (410 – 420 S Eastwood Dr) – $683,420 – $79,932 – 13-08-235-008

    Woolf Distributing (1625 W Lake Shore Dr) – $678,999 – $79,415 – 13-16-200-026

    Crossroads Care Center (309 McHenry Ave) – $542,271 – $63,414 – 13-05-254-015

    Taco Bell (400 S Eastwood Dr) – $531,084 – $62,115 – 13-08-235-009

    BMO Harris Bank (225 W Jackson St) – $503,461 – $58,884 – 13-05-359-001

    MAC Automation Concepts (1760 Kilkenny Ct) – $398,310 – $46,586 – 13-16-201-003

    Bohn’s Ace Hardware (150 S Eastwood Dr), closing soon – $394,116 – $46,095 – 13-05-476-010

    BMO Harris Bank (101 S Benton) – $340,224 – #39,792 – 13-05-381-021

    BEM Wireless (1725 Kilkenny Ct) – $323,301 – $37,813 – 13-16-201-004

    Matrix 4 (610 E Judd St) – $309,790 – $36,233 – 13-05-455-009

    Peet Frate Line (650 S Eastwood Dr) – $306,425 – $35,839 – 13-08-276-003

    Towels & More (Windhaven Intl) – $285,623 – $33,406 – 13-16-200-027

    Shopping ctr SE of Wendy’s / Shell station (80 – 108 N Eastwood Dr) – #277,564 – $32,463 – 13-05-481-002

    Woodstock Golf & Games (1411 S Eastwood Dr) – $274,283 – $32,080 – 13-09-351-023

    Smart Wash Laundramat (331 Irving Ave) – $269,816 – $31,557 – 13-05-403-015

    Woodstock Lumber (1101 Lake Ave) – $246,313 – $28,808 – 13-09-376-003

    Botts Welding & Truck Svc (335 N Eastwood Dr) – $240,516 – $28,130 – 13-05-402-020

    Botts Welding & Truck Svc (315 N Eastwood Dr) – $188,515 – $22,048 – 13-05-402-039.

    The last Botts entry illustrates how one business can have multiple Parcel PIN’s.

    So just use this list as a ballpark what businesses are paying in property taxes; not necessarily the definitive amount.

    Also obviously the property owner/landlord may be different than the business operating at that location.

    Per the City of Woodstock’s September 16, 2016 bond Official Statement, Wal-Mart had the 4th highest EAV in the city.

  6. Mark thanks for great data.

    5 people in Woodstock are arranging to freeze massive taxable EAV in order to collect inflation taxation on that for 35 years.

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