Libertyville sharing $2.9 million in TIF funds with schools and other taxing bodies

  • Libertyville will be sharing about $2.9 million generated by a special taxing district downtown. School districts 70 and 128 are among the taxing bodies that will receive the money.

    Libertyville will be sharing about $2.9 million generated by a special taxing district downtown. School districts 70 and 128 are among the taxing bodies that will receive the money. Daily Herald file photo

 
 
Updated 2/28/2020 8:24 AM

Nine local taxing bodies will get a cut of $2.9 million from a special financing district created to fund parking decks and other projects in downtown Libertyville.

The disbursements represent 70% of $4.14 million in property taxes generated last year in the village's tax increment financing district.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The total rebate is about $130,000 more than last year due to increases in the assessed value of those properties, said Libertyville Finance Director Nick Mostardo.

A TIF district is an economic development incentive in which property tax disbursements are frozen. Any additional tax revenue generated by rising property values go into a special fund to pay for improvements within the district.

Libertyville in 2009 sought and received state approval to extend its TIF beyond the normal 23 years. That approval required the village to share 70% percent of the increment each year. Recipients don't regard the annual disbursement as a windfall and mainly use it for general purposes.

As is always the case, Libertyville Elementary District 70 gets the biggest slice with about $1.1 million this year.

"The monies will continue to be used to repay a bond payment and to do some life-safety work," said Kurt Valentin, assistant superintendent of finance and operations.

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Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District 128 gets the second-highest allocation at $975,577, which will be used for normal operating expenses.

Third on the list is the village itself, which expects to receive $252,848. The money is budgeted as recurring annual revenue in the general fund for services like police, fire and public works, Mostardo said.

The College of Lake County will use its $109,895 share for general student instructional and support costs, such as faculty salaries or financial aid services, according to Ken Gotsch, vice president of business services and finance.

Cook Memorial Public Library District has used the rebate for things that otherwise may not have been done. Last year, for example, a part-time children's librarian was increased to full time and more eLibrary materials were acquired. The library district's rebate this year is $110,763.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"Without the TIF funds, we would likely have to have small reductions in expenditures for things such as collections and furniture replacement," said Library Director David Archer.

Improvements downtown have benefitted the library, he added.

"Although the library district hasn't been able to fully capture the additional property tax revenue generated as a result of the improvements in the TIF District, the vibrant downtown area has been great for us," Archer said.

Libertyville has used TIF money to build two parking decks, among other things. The TIF district ends Dec. 31, 2021, with the last increment received in 2022 for the 2021 tax year.

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