Huntley is moving ahead with plans to establish a Tax Increment District in its downtown hoping to boost redevelopment, but the plans aren’t sitting well with one resident who says the district would be a drain on homeowners’ property values.
In a TIF district, property taxes are frozen at a baseline level for as long as 23 years for the purpose of revenue distribution to municipalities, school districts and other taxing bodies.
But Mack Titus isn't seen the benefit of a downtown TIF district.
The district would lower the EVA (Equalized Assessed Valuation) of residential homes resulting in higher taxes, Titus said Thursday night at a Huntley Committee of the Whole meeting.
Studies also show that a TIF district shifts the cost of schools to the state, he said.
“What are the positive factors to offset these negative factors?” Titus said.
Village Manager Dave Johnson said the staff is scheduled to meet with Titus next month to discuss his concerns. However, “it’s evident the proposed district meets the statute requirements,” Johnson said. “What we are also seeing is a drop in the overall EVA in this area. That in itself will cause a shift on other property tax payers in the village.”
“The bottom line is we are not seeing any growth through private enterprise in this area,” Johnson said. “It is evident in discussions the ability to reinvest in this area is critical for the long-term development of the village.”
“Until there is any development, there is zero impact on anybody,” Johnson said.
What makes Huntley different than other communities with TIF districts is the village continues to grow. Huntley still has some residential growth and the full interchange at Route 47 and Interstate 90 is expected to draw new businesses that will help offset some of the tax burdens.
“I think there’s some unique characteristics of this TIF than you see in other communities,” Johnson said.
Trustees listened to Titus’s comments but voiced their own opinion of the TIF district.
“We have a decaying…central district in our town,” Trustee Harry Leopold said. “This is the most appropriate way of taking care of it. For people who are opposed to the TIF, I suggest they come up with alternative ways to come up with the finances to make the improvements needed.”
“If we don’t be proactive of a blighted area, it will worsen,” Trustee Ron Hahn said. “You have to take some positive approaches to redevelop the area.”
A public hearing will be set in December for residents to have their say on the issue.