Letter: Yes, reform Illinois TIFS; here are some of the ways


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Posted Online: Feb. 03, 2013, 6:00 am
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A recent editorial called for Tax Increment Financing (TIF) reform. I could not agree more. Other states have stricter requirements that Illinois should emulate and adopt and therefore, better serve the taxpayers that provide the funds.

In order to strengthen public input, the public hearing must provide specific plans for the property. A second hearing is then needed to approve the development deal, protecting the taxpayers' interest.

Reporting requirements need to be structured in order to gauge effectiveness of the redevelopment plan. TIFs are all about job creation, and the number of jobs created should be viewed as one of several performance indicators. Failure of the developer to meet performance requirements should result in dissolution of the district.

Annual reviews for over-lapping taxing bodies should be consistent in format from year to year in order to easily track success or failure.

Developers should have to provide proof that they cannot obtain private financing. This requirement would demonstrate a true need for public funds and remove any doubt of the "But, for" test.

Joint Review Boards should have defined rules as to quorums, meeting notifications, and responsibilities.

The number of conditions needed to qualify as "blighted" should be increased to a majority. This will ensure that "blight" does actually exist, and that the TIF is warranted.

Finally, the term limits should be drastically reduced. Asking school districts, overlapping taxing bodies and the taxpayers to be patient and make sacrifices for 23-35 years is too much.

Anybody agree?

Sandy O'Neill,
Moline















 




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  Today is Wednesday, April 16, the 106th day of 2014. There are 259 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Yesterday some bold thief stole a full bolt of calico from a box in front of Wadsworth's store, where it was on exhibition.
1889 -- 125 years ago: A team belonging to Peter Priese got away from its driver and made a mad run across the Rock Island Bridge. The driver was thrown from his seat but not hurt.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Carlton Taylor was appointed district deputy grand master for the 14th
Masonic District of Illinois.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Moline's million dollar municipal airport was dedicated to air transportation and the national defense by Lt. Gov. John Stelle.
1964 -- 50 years ago: THE ARGUS will be election headquarters for Rock Island County tomorrow night, and the public is invited to watch the operation. The closing of the polls at 6 p.m. will mark the start of open house in the newsroom. Visitors will see staff members receiving, tabulating and posting returns.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Few bricks actually tumbled, but no one seemed to mind as about 1,000 people gathered to celebrate the formal start of demolition at the site of a downtown civic center.




(More History)