Final Hearing on Real Estate Tax Hiking Woodstock TIF Tonight

From Rural Woodstock resident Susan Handelsman:

The final Woodstock City Council Meeting hearing on TIF 2 is tonight, Tuesday, 12-4-18 at 7 pm, Woodstock City Hall.

The passage of TIF 2 is largely considered a ‘done deal,’ but it is important to get factual data on record so that City Council members voting ‘Yes’ will have no plausible deniability.

2018 Woodstock TIF 2 City Council Appeal 11-20-18

2018 Woodstock TIF 2 Mayor and City Council Entrenched in TIF 2 Support

Susan Handelsman addresses Woodstock Tax Increment District Joint Review Board.

Woodstock City Council meeting 11-20-18: I read a statement. 2 Main points:

Joint Review Board had 2 objections to TIF

  • Woodstock D200 and
  • McHenry County College

MCC wrote an elegant resolution which included the following language:

“WHEREAS, the diversion of tax dollars to the City that would otherwise come to the College and District 200 has real consequences on these institutions and on the students who attend them, and will only exacerbate the financial strain under which District 200 is currently operating;
and WHEREAS, the City previously created and implemented a TIF district, and the resulting benefits to the community were negligible;

and WHEREAS, the College finds that TIF districts are generally a hidden tax hike in that they make available tax giveaways to business by taking money from schools, colleges and other taxing districts in a way that is not transparent; and as a result, just to balance the books to make up for the money lost, other taxing districts must raise tax rates or eliminate services, thereby hurting those not receiving subsidies from the City; and…”

Point 2, the Joint Review Board had a ‘taxpayer representative’ who was appointed by Woodstock City, who didn’t represent taxpayers.

She refused requests for meetings, and declined to present evidence to support her “Yes” vote for TIF in opposition of the Resolution of MCC where she works as a teacher.

The Mayor expressed offense at my implication that the Woodstock appointee ‘taxpayer representative’ was told how to vote.

I expressed offense at the characterization of this woman as a ‘taxpayer representative’.

Mayor-in-waiting Turner expressed disagreement with the phrase “…the resulting benefits to the community were negligible…”, indicating his belief that Die Cast site clean-up would not have happened without TIF.

I disputed his belief, stating that bonds backed by the taxpayers of Woodstock paid for that project, and that the land was cleaned up and given away to a developer without any clawback terms for Woodstock taxpayers, and that the cost paid by taxpayers far outweighed the result.

Woodstock Mayor and Council and Economic Development Staff are silent on Woodstock 4% property tax rates’ effect on growth potential and local property values.

They are silent on schools’ objections to the TIF.

They are firm in their beliefs, opinions, and desires.

They decline to bring numbers or evidence to support their beliefs, opinions and desires.

They WILL make TIF 2 happen, absent intervention.

I would like the Mayor and Woodstock Economic Development employees to hold a public discussion–Q-and-A–of facts, numbers, data, and historical evidence about TIF2 and their first TIF endeavor.

I would pay for this, join the discussion panel (because I have spent much time researching this), as I hope would an objective fact-checker or two.

And I’ll supply hors d’oeuvres for the occasion.

MCC rooms are available.


Final Hearing on Real Estate Tax Hiking Woodstock TIF Tonight — 8 Comments

  1. Tonight’s Woodstock City Council meeting includes an agenda item for a Public Hearing on the proposed TIF 2.

    State law requires such a Public Hearing as part of the TIF process.

    The proposed TIF 2 covers 562 acres (.88 square miles) and includes 536 parcels.

    That is a very large TIF.

    TIF 2 is officially called, “Downtown & Route 47 Tax Increment Financing District #2.”

    The City paid for an 82 page “Redevelopment Plan and Program” to describe the proposed TIF 2.

    Here are the top taxpayers in the TIF:

    Business – Address – 2017 EAV – Total Tax

    Wal-Mart, 1275 Lake Avenue, $3,538,484, $413,861

    Silgan Plastics, 1191 Lake Avenue, $933,240, $109,151.

    Guardian Electric Manufacturing, 1425 Lake Avenue, $914,765, $106,990.

    Aldi (410 S Eastwood Dr) and Dollar Tree (420 S Eastwood Dr), $684,420, $79,932.

    Woolf Distributing, 1625 W Lake Shore Dr, $678,999, $79,415.

    Crossroads Care Center, 309 McHenry Ave, $542,271, $63,424.

    Taco Bell, 400 S Eastwood Dr, $531,084, $62,115.

    BMO Harris Bank, 225 W Jackson St, $503,461, $58,884.

    MAC Automation Concepts, 1760 Kilkenny Court, $398,310, $46,586.

    Bohn’s Ace Hardware, 150 S Eastwood Drive, $394,116, $46,095.

    Note. Bohn’s closed this fall. Holzlager Brewing Company and other businesses are considering the location. It’s already been stated in the City is considering reimbursing the property owner for some redevelopment expenses if TIF 2 is approved.

    BMO Harris Bank, 101 S Benton, $340,224, $39,792.

    BEM Wireless, 1725 Kilkenny Court, $323,301, $37,813.

    Matrix 4, 610 E Judd St, $309,790, $36,233.

    Peet Frate Line, 650 S Eastwood Drive, $306,425, $35,839.


    The City of Woodstock owns 36 parcels in the TIF.

    First Clay LLC, OREO Dept, 9700 W Higgins 120 103, Rosemont owns 53 parcels in the TIF.


    Notice many of the parcels do not have a Route 47 (Eastwood Drive) or downtown address.

    One would never guess they would be in the “Downtown and Route 47” TIF just going by the TIF name.

    The top taxpayers in the TIF are along Lake Avenue.

    The top taxpayers in the TIF are not on State Route 47 (which is Eastwood Drive in Woodstock) and not in downtown Woodstock.


    Kilkenny Court and Lake Shore Drive are both near Wal-Mart.

    Kilkenny is off Lake Avenue.

    Lake Shore Drive is off Route 14, by Culver’s.

  2. See, Woodstock isn’t like the rest of backwards McHenry County that supports Donald Trump and Republicans.

    Woodstock is a progressive city with progressive values. 🙂

    Woodstock is going to show the Blumphkins how progressive they are by diverting taxpayer money from roads and schools and using it for private development.

    That’s what Eugene Debs, everybody’s favorite socialist, would have wanted…

    And if you don’t agree with city council, you’re probably a racist, sexist, homophobe.

  3. Susan was definitely playing cognitive dissonance bingo that night- in the commission vote, a MCC teacher voted yes, and MCC itself- a taxing body that would be impacted by the TIF district- voted no.

    She is a pro at presenting binary examples that make no sense. I’ll give her that.

  4. At the November 19, 2018 City of Woodstock Joint Review Board meeting, the citizen representative (a McHenry County College teacher) voted in favor of the TIF 2, and the McHenry County College Board representative voted against TIF 2.

    That’s what Susan said above, albeit in different words, as follows.

    “Joint Review Board had 2 objections to TIF:

    – Woodstock D200 and

    – McHenry County College.”

    “Point 2, the Joint Review Board had a ‘taxpayer representative’ who was appointed by Woodstock City, who didn’t represent taxpayers.

    She refused requests for meetings, and declined to present evidence to support her “Yes” vote for TIF in opposition of the Resolution of MCC where she works as a teacher.”

  5. Hey, Cal, did you hear they have to do a mulligan because of an OMA violation?

    NW Herald did a reporter on it.

    Woodstock’s city manager said that his a lot of his crew was on vacation so they forgot to post the agenda in a timely manner.

    …But don’t get your hopes up, Susan.

    I believe you are wasting your time being a tax fighter in Woodstock.

    That city is a lost cause.

    By the way, did you see the people who plan on running for city council?

    They’re mostly insiders.

    So you’re just going to get more of the same, and probably much worse.

  6. The mulligan was because I filed my OMA complaint on Day 1 instead of Day 59.

    I am not politically astute.

    Plan B is in effect.

    I’m naive, not stupid.

  7. Ps.

    There was an OMA officer email swearing to arguably factually inaccurate ( at least in disagreement with data given to reporter) data.

    What’s a citizen to do?

    Try to personally enrich via civil litigation, or keep trying to get the City to do right by ALL taxpayers ( rather than the few TIF recipients: developers, landowner LLCs, lawyers who represent developers, banks who loan to developers and land speculators, and the like?)

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