Oberweis labels Pearl City TIF extension 'bad policy'
Senator Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove) opposed a bill extending the lifespan of a long running tax increment financing (TIF) ordinance of a redevelopment project for an area of the Village of Pearl City.
Oberweis was quick to express his disdain for HB465, sponsored by Sen. Tim Bivens (R-Dixon), and TIF extensions in general during Monday's session of the 100th General Assembly.
“I just like to express once again I believe this idea of extending TIFs for an additional 35 years is bad policy," said Oberweis. “I believe we should oppose it. It’s very easy to come back and say ‘we’ve had 20 years, that’s not enough. Give us another 20, another 30, another 35 years.’ I’m opposed to those types of extensions.”
HB465 amends the Illinois Municipal Code to extend the lifespan of a 1996 TIF ordinance for redeveloping the Village. Titled the Pearl City TIF District Redevelopment Project Area, the project involves the Village’s central business district, commercial, and residential areas. Initially, the project was created to promote the Village’s “economic well-being” by redeveloping the area’s various properties and providing affordable housing.
TIFs provided the means for urban and rural areas to "self-finance" community improvement projects by re-purposing derelict or vacant properties for development without additional taxes involved. It instead relies on revenue from a real estate tax increment of the area being re-purposed for funding and paying expenses. According to Illinois state law, TIF ordinances are originally supposed to end 23 calendar years after their adoption dates or earlier provided the district or project has met all of its financial obligations and paid its debts. However, state legislation can increase a TIF ordinance's completion date by another 12 years pass the statute's limit. Currently, Illinois has more than 1,000 TIF Districts hosted by more than 250 municipalities.
HB465 extends the Village's TIF project to 35 calendar years for further development purposes. It is slated to end December 31, 2025.
The bill passed 48 to 3 and was sent to Gov. Bruce Rauner to be signed.