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Proviso Probe

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Melrose Park making case for new TIF district

Chicago Tribune (Steve Brosinski) (scroll down to second part) covered a recent Melrose Park meeting about a proposed new TIF district.

Some members of the community are concerned the TIF money will be used to displace Latino families.

There are other general concerns about TIF districts.

1. Will current politicians borrow money against the future and make bad decisions about how to spend it?
2. Will TIF funds become a slush fund with less accountability than the normal village budget?
3. Will the TIF divert too much money from the schools?
4. Will the TIF district force the other taxing bodies (schools, library, park district, etc.) to raise taxes sooner and more frequently? Is the village putting too much of the tax base in TIF districts?
5. Will the TIF spending actually increase the tax base in the TIF district?

As Illinois law stands, there is too little accountability for local politicians creating TIF districts.

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1 Comments:

  • A couple of hints to the people in Melrose Park:

    Illinois law requires Public Hearings on the Redevelopment Plans before final TIF designations. The Plans must be made available for public review and inspection for at least 45 days prior to the Public Hearings.
    The law also requires that the Village convene Joint Review Boards made up of representatives of each of the taxing bodies effected by the TIFs, along with a community member from each of the project areas.
    Taxing bodies include the local Park, School and Library Districts as well as reigonal Districts such as the Mosquito Abatement District.
    The Village must also establish an Interested Parties Registry for each TIF for anyone who’d like notice of important TIF activities (inclusion on the registr is free).
    Once a TIF is established the Village is required to provide annual reports to the Joint Review Board and Illinois Comptroller.

    Just because these things are required by law, don't assume they are being done or being done correctly. Many towns know people often don't bother checking and don't bother complying with the law and won't unless people demand they do.

    Melrose Park residents (and other people) who are concerned about TIF activity (new and old) should get on the Interested Parties Registry, go to the Public Hearings, read the Redevelopment Plans, talk to Board members of effected taxing bodies about the Joint Review Boards and review the
    Annual Reports for existing TIF's (if they were done - some towns don't bother and the Comptroller's office isn't enforcing the law).

    For more information about TIF's check out the Illinois Tax Increment Association website:

    http://www.illinois-tif.com/

    By Anonymous Judy Brown-Marino, at 9:14 AM, August 31, 2007  

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