Huntley Resident Questions Benefits of a Downtown TIF District

Huntley moves ahead with procedures to establish a Tax Increment District.


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.


Rob September 21, 2012 at 12:17 PM
Are any of the "blighted" properties owned by the village? Haven't we been hearing for years how the interchange is going to bring huge growth to the village? If the village wants development, leave the taxes alone and sell the properties to approved developers for $1. TIF will bring real "blight" just look at existing TIF sites. Give the exchange time to draw the right development for Huntley and grow the village in a controlled environment with a long term vision. It seems the board is in a big hurry to "get things done" is there an election coming up? Do it the right way that secures a lasting vibrant downtown, not the quick way that destroys property values and the long term success of the village.
Dot September 21, 2012 at 03:36 PM
“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.” Isn't this what the Trustees are elected for?
Rob September 21, 2012 at 04:59 PM
I am not a resident of Huntley, but its where my kids go o school, we shop there, eat there and my wife works in the mall! Do some research on existing TIF sites, see what kinds of business it attracts. If the central district is decaying, bring business that will revive it in the spirit of a small village. Make some regulations on architecture of new buildings, keep the old town feel, with the new town experience. Huntley has so far allowed anyone to build whatever and however they want. Preserve what the village is and expand on what it can be. Some of these "trustees" can't see beyond their own front yards. People with Vision, imagination and accountability beyond their term, is who should be holding those chairs. Not the old guys who inherited the family business or grew up here. If Huntley wants to soar, you have to elect people that can fly. The same ole same ole, will bring the same results as c/ville...take a look at downtown St. Charles or Geneva....nothing decaying there...yet it all looks as if it's been there for 100 yrs. Hap hazard building and zoning, results in a mess like Crystal Lake, Carpentersville, Barrington and Algonquin. Know who you are and PLAN to preserve and build on the vision and heritage of the town.
Rob September 21, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Here is some great info on a Chicago TIF! http://www.uptownchicagocommission.org/tifs.htm#12
Rob September 21, 2012 at 05:34 PM
If the TIF is overseen by a consistent ideal of the village and it's population, by responsible commissioners, it can be a very good thing....lol. Good Luck with that over it's 23 year life.


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