District 300 expected to receive $2 million earmarked for Sears
Hoffman Estates trustees Monday are expected to authorize a court-ordered $2 million payment to Community Unit District 300 and a $5.2 million payment to Sears from a fund tied to the economic development area of the retailer's corporate headquarters in the village.
The order in federal bankruptcy court reflects a recent agreement between Sears and District 300 about certain aspects of their dispute over property taxes, including distribution of the $7.2 million balance of 2017 EDA funds raised through property taxes and held by the village.
Hoffman Estates and Sears entered into an agreement in 1990 creating an economic development area to provide financial assistance for Sears to develop its corporate campus. In 2012, Sears petitioned for and was granted a 15-year extension of the EDA.
Despite this resolution over the 2017 EDA funds, District 300's related 2018 lawsuit against both Sears and Hoffman Estates continues and has a status hearing scheduled for Thursday, village officials said.
In that lawsuit, District 300 officials argued Sears was no longer qualified to receive $8.8 million in subsidies due in December 2018 because the company had failed to keep its promise of maintaining 4,250 jobs at its Hoffman Estates headquarters.
Sears, apart from the EDA, applied for and received tax credits under Illinois' Economic Development for a Growing Economy program. Those credits were conditional upon Sears' making capital investments within Illinois and retaining at least 4,250 employees in its Hoffman Estates and Chicago Loop offices. The state suspended its agreement with Sears in 2017 after the company eliminated 400 jobs.
In a reply to the suit, Sears released this statement last year: "As we have stated numerous times over the years, the EDGE and EDA tax incentives are governed by unique statutes and have unique job requirements. This complaint is without merit."
District 300 officials last year argued that Sears should refund area taxing districts $49 million in tax incentives.