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Views: 644
Jan 11, 2007 6:15 pm#

greg cryns
This is my opinion piece for this weekend's paper. It involves a mechanism to capture real estate taxes by municipalities of all sizes. It is causing quite a stir in my home town. The debate is so small-townish to me. Spring Grove is the town 5 miles away that we always squabble with over our pissing rights.
~~~~

When you boil it down, a TIF is a tool to finance current improvements in a municipality. You pay for the improvements with the anticipated gains in property values that, in turn, generate higher tax revenues.

I think the success of any TIF is not predictable though many towns across the country are betting on their own TIFs. Take a walk through the downtown area in Richmond. Note the condition of the sidewalks and curbs. Check out the condition of the buildings and the vacancies. There is no doubt that the area is deteriorating.

Richmond is at a crossroad. It can leave things alone and hope that somehow the downtown can reverse the trend. Or it can institute a TIF plan. Both have their merits and shortfalls. Both options involve risks. No one can say which is better with absolute certainty.

If I asked to meet you in downtown Spring Grove what comes to mind? Is it on Main Street near the grade school or is it on Rt. 12? In fact, Spring Grove does not really have a “downtown.” Spring Grove has spent its time and efforts filling up cornfields with new houses and making space for gravel pits. The long anticipated of the Jewel Food Store comes at a hefty price - a new water tower. Along with other concessions, it’s almost as though Spring Grove has its own TIF in place.

The school districts sent out a letter last week. It was perfectly timed to arrive at resident’s houses just before the TIF hearing in Richmond. The headline and content screamed that a TIF will definitely explode your real estate taxes in the future. People from Spring Grove stormed Memorial Hall on the night of the public hearing. No wonder. The people with credentials after their names scared them into action.

Unfortunately the letter was missing a very important ingredient. To make a fair decision as to whether the TIF will raise taxes, we need to know what happened in other towns like Richmond after a TIF was initiated. I doubt that this type of data is available since TIFs are only 50 years old.

If hard proof was available, I suspect that it would be waving from the school flagpoles. Superintendents Oest and Hain may have the best interests of the school districts at heart, but perhaps not the interests of the village of Richmond.

While Spring Grove is filling up cornfields with new houses, Richmond is trying to deal with the possibility of a failing economy if not outright bankruptcy. This is in no small way the result of boneheaded decisions by previous administrations.

Spring Grove could enact a transition fee for new houses like Richmond already has in place. This alone would account for a few hundred thousand dollars in benefits for everyone over a few short years.

Richmond officials are saying a TIF would have little or no impact your pocketbook. The schools say it will cost millions. The answer likely lies somewhere between.

Take a closer look at your real estate tax bill. You will find that 69% of the money you sent to the State in 2006 went to fund the local schools. Another 5% went to McHenry County College. The real problem of the frightening increase in real estate taxes is the proliferation of housing developments, not the possibility of a TIF.

Perhaps it is time for the school districts and Spring Grove to pay closer attention to their own operations and stop telling Richmond how to handle its affairs.


greg cryns $1.25 worth (allowing for inflation)



Private Reply to greg cryns

Jan 11, 2007 9:23 pmre:#

Lili Fuller
Okay, Greg, tell me. What is a TIF?

Lili

Private Reply to Lili Fuller

Jan 11, 2007 9:47 pmre: re:#

James Booth
.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_increment_financing

.

Private Reply to James Booth

Jan 11, 2007 10:02 pmre: re: re:#

greg cryns
.
.
Lili,

JB is correct. LOL

"Tax Increment Financing" - the village draws a line around an area that is LEGALLY defined as "blighted". (the legal def. and reality do not always mesh). The village establishes the BASE tax (what the re taxes generated inside the TIF area). This base tax will always be sent to the taxing bodies (schools, FDP, library, etc).

Then the village goes out and gets financing for projects that need to be done. The village can also offer certain incentives (not cash) to lure new businesses to come into the area.

So, hopefully, the refurbishing of the TIF area will make the buildings be assed higher. Excess taxes produced by higher assessments are turned over to the village to finance the projects and pay back the loans.

Done right, a TIF can be a godsend. In the wrong hands, bad things like using eminent domain power as a revenge tool can spell disaster.

Overall, I think the TIF is a good idea. Our residents have been told that their RE taxes will go up due to the TIF. They may, but not as much as forecasted by people with agendas.

Hope this helps.

greg

Private Reply to greg cryns

Jan 11, 2007 10:34 pmre: re: re: re:#

Lili Fuller
Thanks, Greg and James.

I've been a little distracted by my weird health issues. I finally got a definitive diagnosis this week. I've had COP, aka, Cryptogenic organizing pneumonitis, which is idiopathic BOOP (bronchiolotis obliterans organizing pneumonia). Hey, no one makes this stuff up. And not many people get this, either. So I should start to get my brain back in gear soon, now that I'm getting appropriate treatment.

I appreciate your patience.

Lili

Private Reply to Lili Fuller

Jan 11, 2007 10:56 pmre: re: re: re: re:#

James Booth
I christen thee Lili Boop !


JB

Private Reply to James Booth

Jan 11, 2007 11:54 pmre: re: re: re: re: re:#

Lili Fuller
That's me, honey. ;-)

Lili

Private Reply to Lili Fuller

Jan 12, 2007 1:52 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re:#

greg cryns
Lili,

I have my own extremely rare disease to cope with.

Retroperitoneal Fibrosis

They cut me from nipples to navel four years ago. When I got out of the hospital I was transferred to my local GP to get my drugs (Prednisone for a year). When I told him what I had he said, "What the hell is that?"

Blah!

greg
Lots of info on Audio Books - http://www.audiobooked.com
Work At Home Profiles - a new concept in growing your business
http://www.workathomeprofiles.com

Private Reply to greg cryns

Jan 12, 2007 3:07 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re:#

Lili Fuller
Greg,

Don't you love confounding doctors? Since I've been getting care at the VA hospital here, I've had more doctors looking at the same data (information is centralized) and there have been no shortage of chest X-rays and other diagnostic tests. I usually have at least two appointments a week. And I get the same query when I describe what I've got: What the hell is that? Since the VA is the teaching hospital for Yale (I may have mentioned that before), I know I'm getting state of the medical arts care. I'll have to look yours up. Are you cured?

Lili

Private Reply to Lili Fuller

Jan 12, 2007 4:15 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re:#

James Booth
Retroperitoneal Fibrosis

" Retroperitoneal fibrosis is a disorder in which the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder are blocked by a fibrous mass in the back of the abdomen.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors Return to top

Retroperitoneal fibrosis is a rare disorder caused by an excess of fibrous tissue in the area just behind the stomach. Doctors don't know why these masses form. It is most common in people aged 40 - 60, and men are twice as likely to develop them as women.

The disorder may cause chronic unilateral obstructive uropathy or chronic bilateral obstructive uropathy, which result when the fibrous mass blocks the ureters.The symptoms are caused by the obstruction of the ureters, the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder. "

- http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000463.htm
_______

You sure they opened you up in the right place ... ? : )


JB

Private Reply to James Booth

Jan 12, 2007 9:03 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re:#

greg cryns
.
.
JB,

Wiki is close. The mass wraps itself around the aorta and then sends out a sheet-like fiber. The fiber tentacles (for lack of a better term) often attack the ureters (because, I assume, they are relatively close to the mass) and wrap around them. This stops the flow. I guess you could use the word "block" but in my mind that implies that something is inside the tubes.

It has been known to attack other areas, though, but there is not much research to go on.

Lili, it's not known to be fatal, at least any more than other diseases that wear down your system often without evidence.

I feel pretty good but it took me a full year to get back to near normal. Still not there after four years but much better now. I was at Rush Hospital in Chicago, also a teaching hospital. They had dealt with this before. Previous to that I was in podunkland at a hospital that kills more people than it helps. In fact, they discharged me with a creatnine level of 5. Incredible.

After the op I was home two days and then incurred a blod clot in my left leg, probably from the operation itself. So I was in the hospital for two full weeks, all told.

One night a nurse came in and looked at the fluid bag and her eyes got very wide. I was in the room with Yvonne and we both saw her reaction. Not a good sign. What happened was that the dispenser gave me a full bag of medicine in 1 hour (supposed to empty in 6 hours).

The moral of the story is if you are going in to any hospital of any credibility you need to bring along your advocate.

greg
Lots of info on Audio Books - http://www.audiobooked.com
Work At Home Profiles - a new concept in growing your business
http://www.workathomeprofiles.com

Private Reply to greg cryns

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