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Huntley considers downtown-Route 47 TIF district

The Route 47 widening improvement project was celebrated Huntley this summer. Now village is considering Tax Increment Financing district for

The Route 47 widening and improvement project was celebrated in Huntley this summer. Now the village is considering a Tax Increment Financing district for portions of downtown. | Sun-Times Media file photo.

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Updated: January 11, 2013 6:09AM

HUNTLEY — The village board heard comments from two residents and drew a crowd of about two dozen during a public hearing for a proposed Tax Increment Finance (TIF) district for the downtown area and Route 47 corridor.

A TIF district is a way of splitting property tax revenue between a set base which is paid out to all local taxing bodies and the tax increment which is any tax money collected over the base. That extra money is used to finance improvements in the district.

The area that would be covered by the Huntley TIF includes 184 acres in the downtown and frontage on Route 47 from Mill Street to north of Algonquin Road. Charlie Nordman, the village’s director of Development Services, outlined the TIF stating that the area represented about two percent of the village’s total equalized assessed valuation and only 1.3 percent of Huntley’s portion of School District 158’s EAV.

He said a joint review board comprised of members of the school district, the library, fire protection district and others unanimously approved recommending the TIF at a meeting last month.

Bob Rychlicki of the consulting firm Kane McKenna spoke to the board about the details of the proposed district.

Rychlicki said the TIF district qualifies under the improved property conservation and vacant land designations because of the age of the buildings in the area — over 35 years; the deleterious layout with residential homes in close proximity to industrial uses; and a lagging EAV.

He also said functional and economic obsolescence, deterioration, excessive vacancies, inadequate utilities and a lack of community planning were additional reasons the area qualifies for the TIF.

Rychlicki said the base EAV for the TIF is $15,597,077 based on 2011’s data. The TIF is projected to net between $30 million and $40 million with a proposed budget of $40 million over its lifespan. Rycklicki stressed that the money cannot be spent each year until it is collected from property tax payments.

“Most of the money will go towards utility improvements, rehabilitation projects and public facilities. The plan is general. It is not a blueprint or a mandate,” he said.

Mack Titus of the Sun City development spoke out against the TIF, citing studies that suggest a TIF would shift the tax burden on to homeowners.

Carol Donahue also spoke out against the idea.

“You don’t give any specifics at all. I don’t understand your plan because there are not enough details,” Donahue said.

No board action was taken on the TIF issue, but a total of three ordinances will need to be enacted before the TIF can be put in place.

The TIF District issue was one of two public hearings the board held on Thursday night.

The other hearing was by the Liquor Commission as part of a petition to authorize the addition of one liquor license for the Tee 2 Green Indoor Golf facility that is slated to open before Christmas.

The facility, which is located at 11173 Dundee Road, will offer virtual golf games and a cocktail bar for adult patrons. The hearing was closed within five minutes without contest by residents. The board voted to approve the ordinance for the new liquor license.

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