MARION - One of Illinois' foremost experts on Tax Increment Financing will be administering to Marion's TIF districts with the recent passing of ordinances by the city council.Jacob & Klein LTD., and their Economic Development Group will take over administrative duties of Marion's TIF districts after the retirement of Bob Howard. Mayor Bob Butler said Howard had been the principal in the city's TIF matters for many years. He said the firm of Jacob & Klein will take over for Howard and he feels confident in their ability. "They're not novices by any means," Butler said. He said Thomas Jacob helped write a great deal of the TIF legislation in Illinois, and the city feels confident in his experience and expertise in the field. Butler said some of the duties of the administrators are to receive submissions of eligible costs from developers in the city's TIF districts, as well as develop an annual report for the activity in each district. "People generally are not going to be affected one way or another," Butler said. "The people primarily affected are the developers and those we have redevelopment agreements with, but it should work to their benefit." Thomas N. Jacob of Jacob & Klein said he's been involved in tax increment financing since it was approved by the Illinois Supreme Court in 1980 and is familiar with the TIF districts that have been established in Marion. Jacob said his firm represents about 70 cities in downstate Illinois and they've created 140 TIF districts that will have $2 to $3 billion worth of investments once they're completed. He said the TIF districts they administer generate $45 million a year for Illinois communities. Jacob said ultimately the use of TIF in Marion is directed at increasing employment in Southern Illinois, and he hopes his firm will be around for the life of Marion's TIF districts. "Marion is very fortunate in that they have TIF districts that have helped develop and redevelop everything from strip mines to older properties," Jacob said. "The use of TIF in Marion has resulted in everything from the Frontier League baseball to any number of hotels, restaurants and businesses developing there. It's been very successful and we just want to keep things going the same direction."
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