After months of public discussions, Wauconda trustees on Tuesday agreed to create a special taxing district to raise revenue for public projects.
A trio of ordinances needed to legally form the tax-increment financing district, or TIF district, were approved unanimously. The outcome wasn't a surprise; board members had voiced informal support for the proposal at earlier meetings.
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.
Wauconda officials have repeatedly said they'll only spend TIF revenue on projects that have been completed by developers or property owners.
Additionally, the board won't borrow money to spend on projects and then use TIF funding to pay back the loans.
"They do not want to issue bonds or borrow funds for public improvements on a speculative basis," Village Administrator Doug Maxeiner told the Daily Herald before Tuesday's meeting.
Wauconda's wedge-shaped zone is bounded by Route 176 on the north and Barrington Road on the east. It stretches west past Route 12.
Officials hope the district will help lure developers and business owners to the area.
"This is really a tool for economic development," Mayor Frank Bart said before the votes.
The downtown business district along Main Street is not included in the zone, nor is Bangs Lake or the businesses on its shoreline.
But Trustee Linda Starkey said she expects developments in the TIF district to have a peripheral impact on the downtown area.
"I think that will help spur growth on Main Street," she said before the votes.
No projects have been formally proposed or approved yet, Maxeiner said.
Some residents and merchants have expressed concern about the impact on businesses and whether the effort will be successful.
Starkey said the trustees would be "good stewards" of the money to be raised.
Tax: Bangs Lake, downtown business area not included in tax district