Proposed Batavia TIF district gets blessing over school district's objection

Updated 10/4/2016 2:21 PM

The Batavia school district cast the lone "no" vote Tuesday on a recommendation to let the city create a new downtown tax-increment financing district.

The joint TIF review board voted 6-1 in favor of the Washington-Wilson Tax-Increment Financing District.


The Batavia Library district did not send a representative. The other members of the board are the city, the park district, Batavia Township, Kane County, Waubonsee Community College and a resident of the city.

Anton Inglese, the school district's chief financial officer, said the TIF's redevelopment plan might not reimburse the school district enough for the costs of educating any extra children who move in.

One North Washington Place LLC, a Shodeen Inc. entity, plans to build 181 apartments at the northeast corner of Wilson and Washington streets. It would also include commercial spaces and a parking garage. The project would take up a large part of the block bounded by Wilson, Washington, State and River streets.

City planners estimate 14 to 20 children might move into the apartments.

In a tax-increment financing district, property taxes paid to governments are frozen for up to 23 years. Anything above that, presumably caused by the property increasing in value, is called an "increment" and put in a special fund the city controls. That fund can be spent on work that improves the value of land in the district.

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State law mandates some relief for school and library districts, requiring the TIF fund to pay the districts something for each patron or student added. The city estimates that could total $800,000.

But the law limits the amount to 40 percent of the increment. The payment is determined annually.

Inglese believes that won't be enough, if more than 20 students show up.

The school district spent $11,944 per pupil on operational costs in 2014, according to state report card data.

The board's vote is only advisory. Had it not given its blessing, however, the city council would need a three-fifths majority vote to create the district.

The city council will have a public hearing on the TIF Nov. 7, and can vote on it two weeks after that.

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