SPRING LEGISLATIVE SESSION FEBRUARY 22, 2012
Once again a number of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) “Reform” bills have been introduced in Springfield. Approval of any of these bills will kill job-creation efforts in your town! As was the case last year, we have no objection to the efforts to make administration of TIF districts more transparent as our clients already exceed the current statutory requirements. However, the JOB KILLING components of TIF Reform must be strongly opposed.
At a time when the national media and political leaders are focused on creating jobs to rebuild America’s economy it makes absolutely no sense to limit and severely restrict the most effective local economic development tool available. The trend in Springfield is to make local government responsible for more and more of their obligations, such as pension fund contributions, infrastructure improvements, and job creation. It is blatantly unfair to shift those obligations and at the same time take away the most effective local tool available to municipalities for creating jobs and growing the local economy!
Last fall and winter we discussed with you the problems with the then pending TIF Reform bills. We, with your help, were instrumental in adding amendments to those bills. None of those bills passed and now, unfortunately, new TIF legislation has been introduced incorporating none of those amendments.
The State remains in a recession. Unemployment remains at historically high levels in Illinois. Business continues to flee Illinois. Let’s not allow local efforts to attract development and create jobs even more difficult by restricting the only effective local economic development tool that is available.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
The message you now need to give to your Senator and Representatives is clear:
1. We have no problem with the Comptroller’s request to provide more information to other taxing bodies.
2. Do not give the Joint Review Board the absolute right to veto a TIF District!
3. Do not limit the ability to utilize TIF for residential development!
4. Either remove those restrictions or, alternatively, exempt cities with under 25,000 populations from those restrictions.
DO NOT let Springfield dictate how your community is governed! City Councils and Village Boards should decide what local incentives are offered and to whom, not the Governor or the State Legislature!
CALL your State Senator and Representatives and ask them to:
1. OPPOSE SB 540
2. OPPOSE HB 5457
3. OPPOSE SB 2511
4. OPPOSE HB 4694, and
5. OPPOSE any other subsequent or similar bill that will kill jobs in Illinois!
Don’t delay. Make that call today!