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Montgomery TIF district vote expected Monday : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Montgomery TIF district vote expected Monday
Village to offer rebates to fire departments, other taxing districts

by John Etheredge


The Montgomery Village Board is expected to vote on a motion to approve a TIF (Tax Increment Financing) district on the village's west side next Monday, Jan. 13.
The board will gather at 7 p.m. at village hall, 200 North River Street.
The proposed TIF district would encompass 584 acres of mostly undeveloped land along sections of Orchard and Aucutt roads on the village's west side.
There are a total of 83 parcels in the TIF district along with 33 buildings or other structures, according to information provided by Jerad Chipman, the village's senior planner.
By establishing the TIF district, village officials are seeking to spur business development along and near the recently widened four-lane Orchard Road corridor.
If approved, property owners in the TIF district would continue to pay property taxes to local taxing districts based on their current assessed value for up to 23 years. However, taxes the property owners would pay resulting from the increasing assessed value of their properties would be placed in a separate TIF fund that would be controlled by the village. The village, in turn, would use the TIF funds to pay for public improvements in the TIF district.
Among the projects the TIF funds could potentially pay for include flood control measures and other infrastructure, including streets.
However, over the past several months, representatives of the Sugar Grove and Montgomery and Countryside Fire Protection Districts along with some existing business owners have voiced objection to the creation of the TIF district. Fire district officials are concerned at the prospect of losing any growth in property tax revenues that may occur while the TIF district remains in place.
Jeff Zoephel, village administrator, said the board will be asked Monday evening to approve the TIF district along with a separate resolution that would allow the village to rebate some of the TIF funds to the fire districts and all of the other affected taxing districts.
"I expect the board will adopt both of those (resolutions)," Zoephel said.
The resolution is the result of discussions village officials have had with fire district representatives over the past several weeks, according to Zoephel.
During a public hearing on the TIF district in November, Chief Tom Meyers of the Montgomery and Countryside Fire Protection District, said the recession that started in 2008 has reduced the total assessed value of all properties in the 5.5 square mile fire district by $72 million, costing the agency thousands of dollars annually in property tax revenues.
Meyers said the fire district needs additional revenues in the coming years to maintain and improve the paramedic and fire service it currently provides to the district's 12,000 residents and businesses.
"What is more important, development of an industrial area or public safety? We obviously oppose this (TIF district) and we know you, the village board, will make the right decision for the public safety of the residents of Montgomery," Meyers said.
Zoephel said Monday the village is proposing to rebate any tax revenues on the incremental growth of the existing buildings to the fire district and the other taxing districts for the 23 year-life of the TIF.
However, he said if the owners of the existing buildings expand or remodel, the additional amount in property taxes that would result from the expansion or remodeling would be placed into the TIF fund.
"The school districts would get the majority of the rebate, but the fire districts will get their share as will the park and library districts," he said.
Asked if the rebates will prove costly to the TIF fund, Zoephel said, "No, not really because that's not what we're counting on for the TIF to be successful. We weren't counting on the increment on the existing buildings. We're looking for the new development that will occur in the TIF district as the place we're going to generate money to pay for the (public) improvements. That's why we felt this is a good way we can work with the fire districts and the other taxing districts without hurting the intent of the TIF district."

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