What about Kaneland?

By on May 10, 2012

Maple Park debates how TIF District should impact Kaneland
by David Maas
Maple Park—At a special meeting held last Thursday, the Maple Park Village Board met to discuss the potential intergovernmental agreement with the Kaneland School District, which would impact how the district collects its TIF District money.

Earlier this year, Maple Park enacted a TIF District inside the village. A TIF District is a method designed to stimulate economic growth. As economic growth occurs within a defined boundary, the tax revenue increases from within the boundary are used to fund further development costs to properties within the district. Simply put, businesses and development within the boundaries of a TIF District are provided with added municipal support and infrastructure, funded with the increasing tax revenues within the TIF District itself.

This can create a confusing situation for other taxing bodies that also receive tax revenues from properties within a TIF district.

“In a TIF, the School District is funded differently than other taxing bodies,” village TIF attorney Herb Klein said. “While other taxing bodies’ funds are locked at the 2011 tax rates, before the TIF was implemented, the School District will be paid for each student that moves into a TIF.”

In this case, the district will receive funds, up to 25 percent of the tax increment collected that year.

“Without an agreement, it would be the school’s job to keep track,” Klein said. “If we entered an agreement, that may not be the case. In an agreement, the village could chose to give the district a set percentage each year, or something entirely different.”

The trustees discussed various options, as well as if something should be put into place now, or wait and see where things go.

“It is up to the board to decide what they want to do in this case,” Klein said.

While some of the board members are for an agreement now, others feel they should wait.

“This village is growing,” Village Trustee Suzanne Fahnestock said. “We want the district to grow with us. People make a decision to move into a town based on a school district. We value our children and our schools; we need to be supportive of our district. We need an agreement.”

“Kaneland is a regional school district,” Village Trustee Steve Nowak said. “There are places in the region that may be nicer for people to live in. We can change that sooner without an agreement.”

It was decided that before any decisions are made, the board should look at the models for the various options, and proceed from there.

“All of the models we come up with will get some form of opposition from residents,” Village President Kathy Curtis said. “I also think opinions (from) the board will change after we look at the projections.”