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posted: 4/2/2012 10:35 PM

Palatine OKs doling $3.6 million of TIF surplus

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With just about every taxing body struggling to do more with less, the village of Palatine is approaching its partners with very welcome news.

The village council Monday approved declaring a surplus in two of its three tax increment financing districts due to development that has taken place, resulting in Palatine distributing nearly $3.6 million to the various local units of government that receive property tax revenue from residents including school, park and library districts.

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"It's really an example of our economic success," Village Manager Reid Ottesen said. "I know it's greatly appreciated, especially by our local taxing bodies, in these economic times."

It's the third year in a row officials have declared surpluses in both Palatine's Dundee Road TIF District, which stretches from Walgreens to Staples, and its Rand/Dundee TIF District, which encompasses the Home Depot development. In total, the village has doled out more than $9 million over that period since meeting all its existing obligations in 2009 -- eight years ahead of schedule.

Since Palatine Township Elementary District 15 and Palatine-Schaumburg Township High School District 211 comprise nearly two-thirds of a property owner's tax bill, they'll receive the most surplus money this year at nearly $1.4 million and $1 million, respectively. The village, which makes up about 13.3 percent of the tax bill, will receive about $478,000.

The Palatine Park District will see about $220,000, with smaller amounts going to Cook County, Harper College, the Palatine Public Library District and Palatine Township.

Municipalities use TIF districts as a tool to provide developers with financial incentives. As property values rise, TIF districts capture additional property tax revenue that can be used to fund improvements within the district, rather than go to local governments.

They're subject to criticism, at times, because taxing bodies lose out on revenue in the meantime. But Councilman Scott Lamerand called the two TIF districts an economic success story.

"This is all money above and beyond what would have been there had nothing been done (development-wise)," he said.

Palatine's downtown TIF district has struggled due to a lack of development, but officials are currently pursuing a fourth TIF district farther north on Rand Road and hope to establish it this summer.

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