School Board discusses upcoming TIF district public hearing

By on August 13, 2011

by Keith Beebe
KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board spent the first half-hour of its meeting on Monday discussing the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district public hearing that will take place during Sugar Grove’s regular board meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 16.

Kaneland plans to speak out against the proposed TIF district at the meeting. Superintendent Jeff Schuler previously stated that he is concerned with the the length of the TIF district (23 years), which he said could push local taxing bodies too far.

“I think it would be beneficial for the Village Board to see both district staff and members of the Board of Education (at the public hearing),” he said. “I think our best opportunity to at least have (the village) rethink it is to hear from lots of folks.”

Schuler cited other taxing bodies that are opposed to the TIF district, including the Sugar Grove Fire Protection District, Kane County Board and about 20 percent of the properties in Hinckley-Big Rock.

A TIF district is an economic tool which seeks to stimulate economic development by taking the incremental tax the village receives for improving a projected area, and then using those dollars to fund the development costs. Simply put, businesses within the boundaries of the TIF district are provided with added municipal support and infrastructure. The TIF district proposed by Sugar Grove is projected to cover the area that stretches from Route 47 (north) to an area near the Burlington Northern Railroad (south), and Aurora Municipal Airport (east) to village limits (west).

“The rationale for the TIF (district) is that any type of commercial development shifts the burden of tax dollars and increases that commercial (and) that industrial tax base,” Schuler said. “There’s a logic to that argument to some point, but when residential owners aren’t going to see that impact for 23 years? And when it’s not a contained area where you can say, ‘Well, gee, if we can at least get something going here, then all the area around it will develop outside of the TIF.’ When (the district is) 1,800 acres, there’s really no other real estate that’s going to develop outside of it … residential owners aren’t going to feel that impact.”

The Village Board meeting on Tuesday will begin at 6 p.m.