Bartlett officials are set to hire a consultant to study whether the village can establish another tax increment financing district downtown.
Officials will interview firms to conduct an analysis that could cost Bartlett about $25,000.
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The village hopes to narrow down a list of candidates in May, Economic Development Coordinator Tony Fradin said.
Officials will work with the consultant to identify boundaries of a proposed district, but they expect the area would be larger than the last one downtown -- stretching from North to Devon avenues.
In a TIF district, property tax payments to local taxing bodies such as school and park districts are frozen for up to 23 years. The village then funnels any additional property tax revenue above those levels into a special fund that can be used to help pay for improvements to the area.
The consultant will determine whether the downtown meets several criteria -- blight, vacancy rates and property values, among others -- that could pave the way for a TIF district. The firm also will create a redevelopment plan.
The previous TIF district downtown expired in 2010 after a one-year extension approved by the village board, despite opposition from Elgin Area School District U-46 officials who had laid off hundreds of teachers and argued the revenue would better serve schools.
The village continues to tout the district's payoff -- raising $20.4 million over more than two decades toward new business facades and projects like the Town Center, a mix of retailers and condos.
But trustees say they want to be more aggressive in attracting new businesses. The TIF subsidies, officials say, could lure developers who otherwise would not set up shop in town.
If officials give the green light, the TIF district would join three others in Bartlett.