Wheeling area schools get end of year 'bonus'
Wheeling Township Elementary District 21 and Northwest Suburban High School District 214 will receive the bulk of surplus money generated by one of Wheeling's tax increment finance districts.
The Crossroads TIF, the area around Milwaukee Avenue and Dundee Road, will declare a surplus of $2,294,240 for 2011, with the excess to be divided among about a dozen taxing districts in January.
District 21 will receive $996,596, nearly 44 percent of the surplus, and District 214 will receive $501,022, nearly 22 percent of the extra funds.
The village of Wheeling, Indian Trails Public Library, Wheeling Park District, Harper College and several other taxing districts will also receive money.
The Crossroads TIF was set to expire in 2008, but in 2005 the village of Wheeling and both school districts entered into an intergovernmental agreement to extend it through 2019 so the village could finish certain projects, including the Fresh Farms shopping center development at Milwaukee and Dundee, said Michael Mondschain, finance director for the village.
As part of that agreement, the village must declare a surplus each year to reimburse the school district for property tax dollars they would be collecting had the TIF been allowed to expire, he said.
District 21, which is the largest recipient of money from the surplus, has not earmarked the money for one particular purpose, said Superintendent Gary Mical.
In the past few years the district has used the money to fill shortfalls in the transportation fund or general education fund, said Daniel Schuler, assistant superintendent for planning.
Schuler said they are very glad to be getting the money and said it has been helpful to have the funds still coming in until the TIF expires and the district will get the full benefit of the improved land.
Wheeling officials said the agreement has been helpful for all involved.
"It benefits the taxing districts and it benefits the village in terms of its economic development efforts," Mondschain said.
What other governments will get from the TIF:
• Village of Wheeling: $242,019
• Wheeling Park District: $155,565
• Cook County: $115,243
• Indian Trails Public Library: $94,538
• Metropolitan Water Reclamation District: $74,649
• Harper College: $80,371
• Cook County Forest Preserve District: $13,895
• Wheeling Twp.: $11,715
• Wheeling Twp. Road and Bridge: $3,814
• Wheeling Twp. general assistance: $1,362
• Northwest Mosquito Abatement: $2,452
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