Sunday, February 1, 2015
Schools must do more than just complain about TIFs
Sandy O'Neill had this letter in the February 1, 2015 Dispatch/Argus. ..... marks paragraph breaks. "I want to comment on Dr. Bruce Peterson's Views from the QCA regarding TIF districts and the proposed school sales tax referendum. I agree wholeheartedly TIFs are hurting the schools, but I feel the addition of more sales tax only will shift more burden onto already overburdened taxpayers. ..... In Illinois, when a city or village proposes a TIF district or an extension of a TIF, it must get approval of a Joint Review Board and then hold public hearings before the council. This board consists of representative from other taxing bodies such as the schools, township, community college districts -- any entity that receives revenue from property taxes. .....In Moline, for example, there are 12 TIFs, the most of any city in Rock Island County. Since 2009, eight new TIFs have been approved and the Downtown TIF has been extended. Since 2009 the school district has had nine opportunities before the Joint Review Board to voice objections, but a review of meeting minutes does not provide any such evidence. ..... If you look at Moline's history with TIFs, not one has been retired. Two have resulted in developer bankruptcies, leaving the taxpayers holding the bag. If Moline never creates another TIF, it still will be 2049 before all 12 are retired, continuing to force a larger burden on the taxpayers to make up the difference for education and services. ..... In my opinion, the schools should have voted "No" before asking us to vote "Yes!""