Winfield commission creates new TIF district

2013-02-18T22:00:00Z 2013-02-18T22:23:04Z Winfield commission creates new TIF districtLU ANN FRANKLIN Times Correspondent
February 18, 2013 10:00 pm  • 

WINFIELD | The Redevelopment Commission on Monday gave a green light to the town’s new tax increment financing district.

Commission members voted unanimously to adopt a resolution establishing the Winfield 109th Avenue and Randolph Street Economic Development Area, which includes all commercial and business properties along those streets.

It was the final step in setting up the TIF district. The Winfield Plan Commission previously recommended establishing the EDA in accordance with the town’s 2007 master plan. On Jan. 22, the Winfield Town Council approved the plan.

A TIF district generates income only from commercial property taxes, not residential taxes. The funds can be used for infrastructure improvements in the district and to attract more businesses to town, he said. The money will be controlled by the Winfield Redevelopment Commission.

Revenue from the TIF district will be based on future increases in assessed value. The baseline is the 2012 assessed value determined by the Lake County assessor’s office, said Adam Sworden, the commission’s attorney with Austgen, Kuiper & Associates.

For example, if improvements to a commercial property in the TIF district currently assessed at $100,000 increases in value to $150,000 in the future, the difference in the property taxes paid by that property owner would be forwarded to the Winfield Redevelopment Commission, he said.

Other taxing units, such as the Winfield township trustee's office and the Crown Point Community School Corp., won't see any decrease in tax revenue because of the TIF district. However, those taxing units won’t see any increase in tax revenues because the town will now capture those additional funds.

At the Jan. 22 meeting, Jim Brown, a representative of Winfield Township Trustee Roland Brauer Jr., said the TIF district could have a negative impact on the township.

A required public hearing prior to Monday’s vote drew only comments from Thomas Hoffman, a nonvoting member of the Redevelopment Commission representing the Crown Point School Board.

Hoffman said the capture of increased property taxes by the town will impact the Crown Point school district. He called the TIF district plan “a necessary evil."

While it takes away any future increase in tax revenues to Crown Point public schools, the TIF will “facilitate improved infrastructure and attract businesses that will eventually benefit the school district," Hoffman said.

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