Posted Online: Oct. 09, 2012, 9:47 pm

Moline School Board discusses TIF districts

Comment on this story

By Nicole Lauer, correspondent@qconline.com

Moline school board members on Tuesday got a glimpse of two proposed tax-increment-financing districts.

School district Chief Financial Officer Dave McDermott told board members city officials want to know if the school district wants the former Horace Mann school building included in the first TIF district located at U.S. 6 and 150.

The proposed district includes commercial, light industrial and open space or drainage. If the TIF is created, assessed property values would be frozen, and tax increment created by new development can be used by the city to make improvements in the designated land district or give rebates to developers.

Mr. McDermott said school districts can lose tax dollars when TIF districts are formed. But he also noted, if the proposed district included the former Horace Mann building -- no longer used for classes and not in the district's future facilities plan -- the city could help market the site. Mr. McDermott also said a buyer may find the property more desirable with a TIF district that could help defray the cost of tearing down the building or filling in some of the swamp area behind it.

The city doesn't need the school district's input to create the TIF district, Mr. McDermott said. He said school administrators have discussed the idea and think it would help to include Horace Mann. Board members supported the plan and learned the Moline council may discuss the TIF district on Oct. 23.

Board members also reviewed a second proposed TIF district, the SouthPark Redevelopment Project Area, which includes SouthPark Mall and the surrounding area. Mr. McDermott said this was the first time city officials contacted the school district about the proposal, although school administrators had learned about it through the media or other sources.

The proposed TIF district, he said, is intended to stabilize the area's tax revenue, which has declined from a $50 million valuation to $38 million or $39 million.

Board members did not weigh in on this proposal.

In other business, school board members heard a representative from the audit firm of McGladrey report that a review of the district's financial standing had no findings of concern.