District 300 collects $2 million from Sears bankruptcy
Hoffman Estates village board members Monday followed a recent bankruptcy court order in releasing $2 million in disputed 2017 property tax payments to Community Unit District 300 and $5.2 million more to Sears from a fund tied to the economic development area of the company's corporate headquarters in the village.
The payments reflect a recent agreement between Sears and District 300 in certain aspects of their legal fight over property taxes.
Hoffman Estates and Sears entered into an agreement in 1990 that created an economic development area to provide financial assistance for Sears to develop its corporate campus. In 2012, the retailer petitioned for and was granted a 15-year extension of the EDA.
But despite the new resolution over the 2017 EDA funds in bankruptcy court in New York, District 300's related 2018 lawsuit against both Sears and Hoffman Estates continues with a status hearing Thursday in Cook County.
In that suit, District 300 claims Sears was no longer qualified to receive $8.8 million in subsidies due in December 2018 because the company had failed to maintain a specific number of jobs in Hoffman Estates.
District 300 officials last year argued that Sears should refund area taxing districts $49 million in tax incentives.
Sears, apart from the EDA, applied for and received tax credits under Illinois' Economic Development for a Growing Economy program. Those credits were contingent 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 response to the suit last year, Sears released a statement saying, "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 could not be reached for comment.