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Westchester hesitant to pursue TIF district

Published: Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 5:47 p.m. CDT

WESTCHESTER – Despite nudging from the Economic Development Committee, the village will not pursue the creation of a TIF district until it receives concrete interest for new developments

The village recently conducted a feasibility study that identified five potential TIF districts, which help local governments improve infrastructure and attract businesses. Since the study, the Economic Development Committee has debated which areas to pursue and now wants to talk to the Village Board about applying for a TIF district. 

But without interest from developers, village staff will not spend the $30,000 to $50,000 it can cost to develop a TIF district, Village Manager Janet Matthys said.

"We want to be cautious and not spend money on something where there's not going to be any result for 10 to 15 years," she said.

If the village were to apply for a TIF district, it would likely target an area of Mannheim or Roosevelt Road, or the Cermak/Mannheim area. 

TIF districts depend on growth in property values to produce a benefit for municipalities. When districts are established but fail to attract enough businesses, the effect can be detrimental. 

"You don't get anything back from [establishing the TIF district] yet you've incurred all the upfront costs for developing it," Matthys said. "We're trying to avoid that pitfall."

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