No resolution in disagreement on Hoffman Estates tax incentive
An informal two-hour meeting between Hoffman Estates Trustee Gary Pilafas and several Barrington Unit District 220 officials and residents Monday failed to resolve two very different viewpoints on whether a controversial tax incentive for a developer would help or hurt area schools.
Pilafas said his financial background leads him to see a tax-increment financing (TIF) district for a proposed 184-acre development at the northwest corner of routes 59 and 72 as a "money machine" for both District 220 and Community Unit District 300.
But District 220 board President Brian Battle -- also a self-described "numbers person" -- said the development would be a path to either tax-hike referendums or reductions in service for both districts.
The only way they could explain their differences of opinion was that the other did not yet have all the facts.
But Pilafas committed to voting against a TIF district when the time comes if he's not convinced every affected taxing district would benefit.
Hoffman Estates Mayor Bill McLeod and Trustee Anna Newell have already made a habit of voting against the TIF process moving forward at every opportunity. But the 5-2 votes that have resulted would still be enough to give the tax incentive the supermajority it may eventually need.
The developer is seeking a $21 million tax reimbursement over the 23-year life of a TIF district to help overcome obstacles to making the site construction-ready.
Among the challenges the school districts see from the development are the cost of educating an influx of students from a number of new homes and condominiums the developer hasn't yet finalized, Battle said.
Though state law dictates school districts are entitled to the annual cost of educating each student from a residential TIF district, there's also an annual cap to that amount that would adversely affect both District 220 and District 300, Battle said.