EDITORIAL: Sharing new taxes is good precedent

2014-03-05T00:00:00Z EDITORIAL: Sharing new taxes is good precedent nwitimes.com
March 05, 2014 12:00 am  • 

Homewood Village President Rich Hofeld is to be commended for offering to help Glenwood ease the pain of losing its Walmart store.

Walmart is closing its Glenwood location to open a new Super Walmart in Homewood.

Hofeld said he wants to help Glenwood because, as he put it, "I don't like to see a business come from another town."

Hofeld also is on good terms with Glenwood Village President Kerry Durkin, who has said the loss of that Walmart means the village couldn't afford to fill two vacancies on the police force.

So Hofeld said he's willing to offer Glenwood 10 percent of the local sales tax revenues from that store for the first three years. That's to be commended.

Economic development officials in Calumet City and South Holland are impressed. They want to consider this tactic in future efforts to lure businesses.

"It's not something I have heard of many communities doing, but it is something we would consider doing ourselves as we try to draw more businesses to Calumet City," said Bryan Swanson, Calumet City's economic development coordinator.

Across the state line, in Indiana, tax base sharing like this doesn't happen. Indiana doesn't allow local sales taxes in Indiana. And although Highland Clerk-treasurer Michael Griffin has spoken eloquently about sharing property taxes, that isn't allowed, either.

The classic example in Indiana was the bidding war between Schererville and Highland for the former Krispy Kremes store on Indianapolis Boulevard. If the two towns had been able to share the taxes, they could have cooperated on the economic development efforts.

What Hofeld has proposed is a good precedent for the south suburbs. It's a good lesson for discussion in Indiana, too, and not just for Griffin.

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