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Options explored for Montgomery TIF

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Updated: January 17, 2014 6:22AM

Trustees in the village of Montgomery say they have come up with a compromise to soothe feelings in the community that have arisen over a proposed tax increment financing (TIF) district and funding concerns of those hired to protect life and property in the area.

Residents have been actively participating in public hearings regarding a proposal that would give the TIF designation to over a thousand acres along Orchard and Aucutt roads.

TIF districts are formed in an effort to improve infrastructure and fund other improvements through future tax gains in the district.

If the Village Board approves a traditional TIF in the area, tax dollars above what is being received now would be collected for up to 23 years and put in a special fund to help businesses that may need to undertake costly infrastructure improvements.

Charlene Coulombe-Fiore, the executive director of the Montgomery Economic Development Corporation, said her job is to sell Montgomery. The proposed TIF area, she said, has been vacant for decades and is well-known as needing improvements before businesses can come into the area.

Tom Meyers, chief of the Montgomery and Countryside Fire Protection District, said the TIF would affect any increased tax funds that ordinarily accompany new business in the region.

Village Administrator Jeff Zoephel said one of the options being considered would allow property owners who objected to being in the TIF zone to pull out.

Those future increased tax dollars would no longer count as part of the proceeds to go into a special fund, paving the way for the fire department to continue to get its designated portion of the funding.

Another option was to continue to fund the fire department and other taxing benefactors on a rebate basis.

Mayor Matt Brolley said another option being considered would be to attach a time guideline to any plan for as long as the current board remains in office.

“The point is we are not handcuffing future boards,” he explained as a way to pass a plan that can be changed by future trustees.

“I don’t want to be in a position of counting on fiscal funds coming out of the TIF and then all the sudden they are significantly changed,” said Meyers.

Trustees will be working on the item over the next several weeks, with a vote expected in mid-January.

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