Can the Woodstock TIF Be Stopped?

More thoughts from Seneca Township resident Susan Handelsman:


  1. Lawsuit.

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’.)

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.


Can the Woodstock TIF Be Stopped? — 13 Comments

  1. Woodstock Independent

    Online exclusive: MCC joins D-200 in opposing TIF; Dorr Twp. likely ‘yes’ vote

    by Larry Lough

    Friday November 16, 2018 at 12:30PM

    “With Monday’s Joint Review Board meeting approaching, local governments have solidified their positions regarding the proposed new tax increment financing district in Woodstock.”


    Would be tomorrow, Monday November 19, 2018?

    What is the time and location of the meeting?

  2. Sager’s dystopian dream of turning Woodstock into a gay paradise must be worshiped and adored!

    All who oppose are ‘Enemies of the Proletariat” and must be sent to re-education camps immediately!

  3. Susan, you continue to be an amazingly clear headed evidence based fighter for The People.

    I fear you, Mark, Steve, Paper Ballots and so many others with empirical arguments will continue to lose ground to liberals who do not have the education necessary to understand the most remedial interpretations of your arguments.

    Liberals think women are too weak to think for themselves and need big government to help them.

    They think brown people will never succeed by their own merit and character so big government needs to help them.

    The liberal thinks people from other nations are so easily manipulated by their lies the immigrant will vote against their own family interests in favor of liberal slavemasters every time.

    Your arguments are well thought out and well received but 50% of our society are so thoroughly on the liberal Plantation and miseducated we fear they won’t win the day.

    We may be more in a place you once furthered where liberals are so totally in control of our State it will fail ever more quickly.

    This will be a tragedy and your hopefulness for McHenry County residents to fight for a better future than liberals would doom them to is ever an inspiration.

    Keep fighting against the destructive forces of insane liberal policies.

    Many root for your success.

  4. But the government schools teach the children that utopia is just around the corner,
    and if you just vote for a DEMOCRAT you can have it all !
    There is a war going on for the minds of the citizenry … if they still have one.

  5. The law needs to be changed so that home rule cities can’t ride roughshod over every other unit of government, including school districts.

  6. The law also needs to be changed so that cities automatically lose their Home Rule status if their population drops below 25k, unless the Home Rule was approved by referendum.

    The City of Woodstock really pulled a fast one with their special census.

  7. Haven’t seen any indication as to what Joint Review Board meeting the Woodstock Independent was referring to in their statement: “With Monday’s Joint Review Board meeting approaching, local governments have solidified their positions regarding the proposed new tax increment financing district in Woodstock.”

    From the Friday November 17, 2018 articled time stamped 12:30PM.


    Maybe it’s some type of local government meeting for which they did not publicly post?

    Maybe one has to register following the rules below to learn of the date and time (if so that seems like it could be an Open Meetings Act violation, but maybe the’s an exception of some sort).

    Maybe the Woodstock Independent article is in error.


    Here’s a Public Notice from the City dated June 13, 2018 that explains how one can register for the, “TIF Interested Part’s Registry.”

    Apparently there’s not internet sign up…not very taxpayer friendly.


    Public Notice

    Notice of Interested Parties Registry

    Woodstock TIF #2 Downtown & Route 47)

    Pursuant to Section 5/11-74.4-4.2 of the Tax Increment Allocation Redevelopment Act, 65 ILCS 5/11-74.4-1, et. seq. (the “Act”), the City of Woodstock (the “City”) is establishing an interested parties registry (“Registry” or “Registries”) for a proposed redevelopment project area known as the Woodstock TIF #2 Downtown & Route 47 Redevelopment Project Area (the “Area”).

    A more specific description of the area and the Registry will be available for public inspection at the office of the City Manager during normal business hours.

    Any resident of the City and organization active within the City are entitled to register in the Registry to become and “Interested Party” for the area.

    Organizations include, but are not limited to, businesses, business organizations, civic groups, not-for-profit corporations, and Community organizations within the city or the proposed area.”

    The Registry will include the name, address, and telephone number of each Interested Person and, for organizations, the name and phone number of a a designated contact person.

    Individuals and organizations wanting to register as an Interested Party with respect to the Area must complete and submit an Interested Parties Registration Form with the City Manager.

    The registrant must submit a copy of a current driver’s license, lease, voter registration card, utility
    utility bill, financial statement, or such other evidence that may be acceptable to the City Manager to establish the individual’s current residency.

    If the registration form and / or supporting documentation are incomplete, the City Manager will give written notice of a defective application to the registrant.

    The registrant will be entitled to correct any defects and resubmit a new registration form and supporting documentation.

    Registered residents and organizations will be entitled to receive notices of public meetings, public hearings, and the availability of redevelopment plans and eligibility reports.

    Registration forms must be picked up and filed with the following office:

    TIF Interested Parties Registry

    City of Woodstock c / City Manager

    121 W Calhoun Street

    Woodstock, Illinois 60098

    Published in the Woodstock Independent June 13, 2018


  8. The Woodstock City Council has two Woodstock TIF 2 items on the Agenda & Agenda Packet for the 7PM meeting tonight.

    1. Resolution – TIF Inducement – 101 S. Jefferson Street (123a)

    Approval of a Resolution to Induce the Redevelopment of Certain Property within the Proposed Woodstock TIF #2 Downtown & Route 47 Redevelopment Project Area at 101 S. Jefferson Street. DOC 1.


    2. Resolution – TIF Inducement – 1760 Kilkenny Court (123b)

    Approval of a Resolution to Induce the Redevelopment of Certain Property within the Proposed Woodstock TIF #2 Downtown & Route 47 Redevelopment Project Area at 1760 Kilkenny Court. DOC 2.

  9. There wa a meeting today of JRB at city hall 3pm?
    But there is no such meeting on city website calendar

  10. After attending both informational sessions hosted by Woodstock, this is clear:
    1. They are determined to place 500-1000 new housing units within tif and have signed provisional agreements with several residential developers.
    2. They have no such specific interests stated by commercial or industrial developers.
    3. They don’t understand and refuse to discuss understanding tax rate’ impact on property values, blight, economic stagnation, and refusal to accept subpar cap rate due to property tax rate 2% higher than everywhere else, as evidenced by:
    “I am baffled by the lack of development on the vacant property across from Walmart” statement by presentation MC at latest meeting.

    4. OR, they DO understand property tax rates, and simply dont care because their 3 jobs, plus the job of new guy they just hired for economic development, seem to be untouchable without regard to performance or outcomes.

    5. Woodstock TIF 2 will freeze 6% of taxable assessments at 2017 values;
    2018 assessments are up 6.2%, which results in an immediate new tax burden that taxpayers must pay EXTRA in order that Woodstock TIF 2 will receive that money.

    $30 million frozen TIF EAV is up 6.2%=new taxable “increment” of $1,860,000.
    At 11.7% of EAV tax rate, equals
    $217,620 taxpayers dollars which must now be diverted to Woodstock TIF2.
    Of course the taxing bodies will not lower their levies to accommodate TIFs,
    Taxpayers must pay an ADDITIONAL
    $217,620 Next year to subsidize Woodstock TIF 2.
    This amount will increase with inflation, and with the additional costs of providing legally mandated services to TIF free riders, for the next 35 years.

  11. In a couple years Woodstock D200 CAB comes due. This, and other deferred interest debt, creates a debt bomb which taxpayers need to address.

    By creatin Woodstock TIF 2, the properties built on vacant land ( at present, all plans shared by Woodstock guys are residential) will escape all liabilities for the enormous debt incurred, ironically, to expand schools to accommodate new students.

    The increased tax rate, and increased nominal taxes, will hit ALL taxpayers ( even those confused TIF residents who think they are somehow protected from tax increases due to TIF because they are IN the TIF).

    What citizens need to consider boils down to this: is the future of your property value based more upon Woodstock having more residents and residences, or upon the tax rate which at present is 4% of fair market value?

    Because your taxes will need to rise to pay for this TIF, for the next 35 years.
    If you do not understand that simple math,
    or you are unwilling/unable to present some financial projections to refute the math of property taxation incorporating frozen assessments’ inflationary impact on property tax rates, you have no honorable reason to support this TIF.

  12. Was taken off calendar then put back on last minute.
    Good thing sceeeshot tech exists.

  13. Unless there is some sort of exception for this type of meeting, the City of Woodstock thus violated the FOIA law that requires the public be notified a minimum of 48 hours prior to the meeting.

    It seems the meeting was posted, removed, then re-posted.


    The meeting is now posted here:

    11/19/2018 – 3:00PM TIF Joint Review Board


    The agenda to that meeting is now posted here:


    Here’s the contents of that agenda:


    City of Woodstock, Economic Development Department

    Garrett Anderson, Director, phone 815-338-3176, fax 815-334-2269, 121 W Calhoun St, Woodstock, IL 60098


    Meeting of the Joint Review Board of the City of Woodstock, McHenry County, Illinois,

    Downtown and Route 47 Redevelopment Project Area

    November 19, 2018 3PM, City of Woodstock, 121 W Calhoun, Woodstock, IL

    1. Call the Meeting to Order

    2. Roll Call:

    – Woodstock Fire / Rescue District

    – Dorr Township

    – Public Member

    – McHenry County

    – McHenry County College

    – Woodstock Community Unit School District 200

    – City of Woodstock

    3. Public Comment

    4. Discussion

    5. Vote on Recommendation

    6. Adjournment


    The Woodstock Independent mentioned there was to be a City of Woodstock JRB meeting on Monday (which turned out to be today), in this article:

    “With Monday’s Joint Review Board meeting approaching, local governments have solidified their positions regarding the proposed new tax increment financing district in Woodstock.”


    Notification of the meeting was nowhere to be found on the City of Woodstock website.

    That fact was posted on the blog.

    Susan responded.

    And here we are.

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