Carpentersville, Dundees back District 300 in Sears tax break fight

Carpentersville joined East Dundee and West Dundee this week by supporting Community Unit District 300 in its fight against a proposed tax break extension for Sears Holdings Corp.

At issue is Amendment 3 of Senate Bill 540, which would extend the Sears Economic Development Area (EDA) for 15 years. Sears and Hoffman Estates are trying to extend the EDA.

Under the EDA, property taxes that are typically paid to taxing bodies like school, library and park districts are redirected back to Sears to develop the area. The EDA is a 200-acre area surrounding Sears Holding's Hoffman Estates headquarters loosely bounded by Route 59 west to Beverly Road and south from Route 72 to Interstate 90.

Hoffman Estates is concerned Sears would skip town without the tax breaks, leaving 6,100 people out of work.

But school officials contend they would lose $14 million a year if the extension goes through.

Lawmakers, who will return Monday to Springfield, are expected to make a decision on the amendment during the veto session that begins Tuesday. Board members from Carpentersville and the Dundees each passed resolutions this week that back the school district.

“To me, it's a situation where the haves are taking from the have-nots and they want to extend it,” Carpentersville Trustee Paul Humpfer said Tuesday. “Shame on Hoffman Estates for pushing this forward.”

In response to the draft resolution, Arthur Janura, corporation counsel for Hoffman Estates, sent a letter to Carpentersville Village Manager J. Mark Rooney this week that took issue with several parts of it.

Among them was the $14 million loss to the school district and the statement that the primary focus of the EDA is to pay down the Sears Centre's bond debt obligations.

“This is simply a lie,” Janura wrote. “The legislation is needed to keep 6,100 jobs in our community.”

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