The Dempster-Dodge tax increment financing (TIF) plan was introduced at the May 29 City Council meeting, but an effort to suspend the rules to allow for immediate passage failed as two aldermen – Don Wilson, 4th Ward, and Coleen Burrus, 9th Ward – voted no.
The matter will return June 11 for a final vote, when it will almost assuredly pass. “Just to be completely transparent, I’m completely against this TIF. I think it’s wrong,” said Ald. Burrus during the Administration and Public Works Committee meeting on May 29.
The TIF district would encompass only the Evanston Plaza shopping center. The center is now owned by Bonnie Management, which purchased the shopping plaza from Bank of America after the previous owner went into bankruptcy and the property went into foreclosure.
Kane McKenna, the City’s TIF consultants, say they estimate that the failure to suspend the rules will result in about $3 million less in the TIF fund because of reassessment of the property in June.
The assessed value, however, could go either up or down. If the assessed value rises, the City, County and school districts will share the estimated $3 million as part of regular tax collection, since the property will not have been in the TIF at that point.
If the assessed value goes down, then taxes on that value will be frozen at that lower level for the 23-year lifespan of the TIF.