End of Spring Hill Center TIF district a windfall for local governments

Back in 1995, Carpentersville officials never could have imagined the impact the retirement of the Spring Hill Center tax increment financing District might have on the village and surrounding area.

Twenty-five years later, though, the timing is perfect.

The Carpentersville village board on Tuesday dissolved the TIF district, which covered an area nestled between Route 31 and the Fox River, just south of Miller Road. The retirement creates a windfall of future property tax money for Algonquin-based Community Unit District 300 and other local governments.

At the time the TIF district was created, the equalized assessed valuation of the land was $23,000. It recently was valued at nearly $7.2 million, an increase of about 30,000%.

Between 1995 and 2018, the life span of the TIF district, additional property tax revenue from development within its borders was placed in a special fund and used for infrastructure and other improvements on the land.

With the district retired, those additional funds go to taxing bodies now in need of an influx of money to deal with budget shortfalls caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. While District 300 is expected to receive about $387,000 in additional annual tax revenue, Carpentersville will receive about $150,000 more.

"About a month ago we notified (the taxing bodies) that we were moving forward with it and they were very pleased with the growth in the (equalized assessed valuation) in that TIF, especially this year," Carpentersville Village Manager Eric Johnson said. "TIFs are sometimes controversial and others are well-received. This one met the goals that were set out. It was the ideal project for everyone involved."

The Spring Hill Center TIF District, which includes businesses such as Dana Molded Products, Trim-Rite Food Corp. and R Guns, actually expired last year, but an oversight allowed the tax collection for the district to continue. That tax revenue, though, will be returned to the county and distributed to the local governments, possibly by the end of the year, according to Johnson.

Johnson said the taxing bodies receiving future funds include District 300, the Dundee Township Park District, Elgin Community College, Kane County, the Fox River Valley Library District, the Kane County Forest Preserve, the Dundee Township Road District and the village.

There are three other much-younger TIF districts in Carpentersville, including the Old Town Redevelopment TIF District, the Route 25 TIF District and the Spring Hill Mall Redevelopment TIF District. None are due to expire until the 2030s.

"It really is good timing for this one to be expiring," Johnson said. "Every unit of government is facing so much uncertainty right now."

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