Cook County backs property tax break for Sauk Village business

2012-10-16T18:30:00Z 2012-10-17T11:44:22Z Cook County backs property tax break for Sauk Village businessGregory Tejeda Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
October 16, 2012 6:30 pm  • 

CHICAGO | The Cook County Board gave its approval Tuesday to a significant property tax break for a company that wants to take over an abandoned industrial building in Sauk Village.

KTR ILL LLC wants to use the industrial site at 21399 Torrence Ave. and hopes to lease the property to an industrial user for warehouse, manufacturing and distribution purposes.

But company officials also had said the potential property taxes would be so excessive that it would make the deal impractical, unless they could get a Class 8 property tax break.

The Village Board in Sauk Village earlier this year gave its recommendation to the tax break. But it is the County Board that must give final approval, and it did so on Tuesday without opposition.

There also was no discussion of the tax break for the Sauk Village site, or for three sites in northwest suburban Elk Grove Village to which the County Board approved similar tax breaks.

KTR officials have said that turning the site into a viable business location would create up to 30 jobs for construction, and add at least 100 permanent, full-time jobs once the facility reopens.

Under a Class 8 tax status, the property will be assessed at 10 percent of its market value for 10 years, 15 percent for the 11th year and 20 percent in the 12th and final year of the status. Without the break, the property would be assessed at 25 percent of its market value.

Critics of such tax breaks argue that local governments should not be giving up tax revenues at a time when many are struggling for sources of income.

But Herman Brewer, head of the county’s Bureau of Economic Development, said he thinks the county benefits from these tax breaks. He said the Sauk Village break and the three tax breaks in Elk Grove Village will cost $1.6 million in tax assessments but will cause various companies to spend $7.5 million to improve the relevant properties.

Brewer also said about 280 full-time jobs and 180 construction jobs would be created by all four tax breaks approved Tuesday.

In other business, the County Board approved a resolution praising Ronnie Monzon, a resident of Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood who was wounded from gunfire in a gang-related outburst. Police said at the time, the student at Chicago-based Phoenix Military Academy, 145 S. Campbell Ave., was trying to shield his friends from gunfire.

County Commissioner Deborah Sims, whose far South Side district stretches south into suburbs such as Riverdale and Harvey, praised Monzon.

“You are blessed,” she told him. “There is no such thing as coincidence. You were put there at that moment to protect your friends.”

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