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posted: 7/14/2014 5:01 AM

TIF districts, favors hurt local taxpayers

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Shame on the Arlington Heights village board for moving forward with a new TIF district in the Hickory-Kensington area. Congratulations to the well-connected developers who will be the only winners in this game. My apologies to the Heller Lumber family and all of the hardworking small business owners in the targeted area.

I'm ashamed to live in a town where decades of hard work go unappreciated because your building isn't big enough or shiny enough to fit the central planners' vision. Private property rights mean nothing in Arlington Heights and all of Illinois. The long-term economic benefits of TIF districts are dubious because they rob local taxing bodies of any increase in tax revenue that would have occurred over the next 20 years.

It is wrong to take tax dollars to subsidize private development and wrong to push people off their land for private development -- always has been, always will be. Illinois is rampant with special tax favors, all of which violate any concept of fair taxation.

Property tax payments are due again on Aug. 1. Too bad we won't be able to afford to retire in our current home in Arlington Heights due to the high property taxes (sorry kids, we will have to move away from the family homestead some day). One has to wonder how much lower those taxes could be if all tax revenue were directed to the school districts and other taxing bodies instead of some fraction that remains after all the TIFs and rebates and other special tax favors take their share.

Michael J. Witte

Arlington Heights

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