Joliet hitting reset on TIF districts
Brock A. Stein | 12/6/2017, 1:23 p.m.
Joliet officials hope to keep redevelopment of the downtown on track with the shrinking of one TIF District and the creation of another.
The original City Center TIF district which encompasses the area bounded by Webster Street, Joliet Street, Van Buren and Scott Streets, and includes 284 parcels would be reduced to include only 59 under the new plan.
In addition, the proposal would create a new downtown TIF that will encompass 211 buildings many of which are 35 years of age or older.
The reorganization will help keep re-development on track said Community Development Director Steve Jones who noted that the current city center TIF is set to expire in April 2023.
“We felt that the best way to guarantee sustained momentum over time was to shrink it down and to literally create a second TIF,” said Jones during Monday’s pre-council meeting.
Once a Tax Increment Funding (TIF) district is created, tax rates are frozen and remain constant within the district for as long as 23 years. During that time, any income from increases in property value that generate new tax revenue is placed in a TIF fund to be reinvested in improvements in the area.
Jones said that since its creation in 2000, the City Center district has been the focus of re-development.
“We haven’t had any development in these outer areas since 2000,” he said.
Any interest has been stymied by the remaining lifespan of the current TIF as well he said.
“So we’re looking to start fresh with this area,” said Jones.
The city is required to hold 2 public hearings before the new districts can be created and will also have to hold a review meeting on December 21 with the taxing bodies within the proposed area which includes Will County, the Forest Preserve District of Will County, Joliet Township and 12 other taxing bodies including 2 school districts as well as Joliet Community College.
The first public hearing date is set for Feb 20, 2018.