A special taxing district that's been proposed for a section of southwest Wauconda could result in greater property values and millions of dollars in additional property-tax revenue for the village, a planning consultant said Wednesday night.
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 225-acre area generates about $1.8 million in property taxes for the village now, planner Jeramiah Yeksavich said during a public hearing at village hall. If the district is successful and development occurs, he said, it could generate between $4.2 million and $5.2 million annually in the years to come.
"This is a conservative estimate," said Yeksavich, who's with Rolf C. Campbell Associates.
Typically called TIF districts, the zones are used by officials to raise money for public improvement projects. This 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.
Yeksavich painted a bright picture of what the planned tax-increment financing district could do for Wauconda. He talked about road improvements and other public projects that could be funded by money generated by the district as well as the potential for new development in the area.
But some of the roughly 50 people in the audience weren't sold.
"These businesses could fail," resident Gale Loding said during the hearing. "I am concerned that we are going to end up biting off more than we can chew."
Wauconda-area resident Bryan Krist asked if the village will work with existing business owners to keep them in the zone or if it will force them out in favor of new development.
Yeksavich tried to assure Krist that the area's current business owners will benefit from the plan.
Wauconda's triangular site was chosen for a TIF district 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.
Officials hope the district will help lure developers and business owners to the area.
There are no plans to condemn properties in the district to make room for new projects, officials have said.
Now that the mandated public hearing has been held, the village board has until late February to decide if it wants to create the district.