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Article updated: 11/18/2013 11:00 AM

Wauconda wants to hear from residents on TIF plans

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Wauconda residents and business owners can share their feelings about plans for a special taxing district during a public hearing Wednesday.

The meeting is set for 7 p.m. at village hall, 101 N. Main St. Mayor Frank Bart said he expects a moderate crowd at the session.

"Any time there's a complex issue like that, there's going to be questions, as there should be," Bart said.

The borders of the proposed district create a wedge bounded by Route 176 on the north and Barrington Road on the east. It also would stretch west past Route 12. The wedge covers about 225 acres.

Typically called TIF districts, the zones are used by officials to raise money for public improvement projects.

The district would be Wauconda's first.

Under the law, tax revenue generated by a property's increasing value or new development is diverted to a special fund that pays for land purchases, construction efforts and other projects.

They have a lifetime of up to 23 years but can be extended.

Wauconda's triangular site was chosen because it's a key element in the town's redevelopment plans. It also lacks efficient road access, has aging infrastructure and older developments, among other factors.

Bart hopes the district will help lure developers and business owners to the area. A TIF allows developers to gradually pay for road improvements or other public projects through their property taxes instead of as separate elements in a development plan.

"It's a sweetener for developers to develop in that area," Bart said.

There are no plans to condemn properties in the district to make room for new projects, he said.

Occasionally, officials with school districts or other government agencies that are included in a TIF district object to the plan because it affects their tax revenue. After informal discussions with the taxing bodies in the area, village administrators believe the plan has their support.

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