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Second thoughts on early closeout idea


Genoa City Village Board keeps TIF district as-is



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July 14, 2010 | 09:03 AM
Genoa City — Some village officials thought it would be a way to cut taxes.

They thought closing part of Genoa City's Tax Incremental Financing district early would cut the village tax rate by more than $1.

But on Thursday, July 8, those officials apparently changed their minds after realizing there wouldn't be much relief. What little would occur wouldn't happen until a few years from now.

At its regular meeting, the board voted 6-0 to leave the TIF district the way it is. Village Trustee Ken Parker was absent.

"We thought it was going to make much more of a difference," Village Treasurer Claudia Jurewicz said.

The idea to close part of the district to reduce the tax rate was one Jurewicz and Village President Barry Goad discussed with Phil Cosson, of Ehlers and Associates.

At the May Village Board meeting, Cosson said some good has come from the TIF district.

It helped make several village improvements possible, including last year's Franklin-Carter streets project.

But according to Cosson, because so much of Genoa City is located within the TIF district, it's not supporting the budget or the current tax rate. That means the tax increment isn't being added to the village tax base.

Hence, the idea to close part of the TIF and reduce the village tax rate. Originally, according to Cosson, if the district would have been shrunk by $30 million, the village's rate could drop from $6.56 per $1,000 of assessed value to $5.19 on the 2012 levy.

However, on July 8, Jurewicz said it wouldn't happen that soon.

"Keep in mind this would not go into effect until the 2013 levy," she said.

According to Jurewicz, the estimated closure of the TIF district remains between 2014 and 2015. In May, Cosson said closing part of the district now would extend the time it takes to close out the rest of it by at least another year.

"But (the village) rate is going to fluctuate or probably go a little higher anyway," Jurewicz said July 8. "You're better off holding it open to get that much needed decrease later."

In May, Cosson said closing part of the district early was "not a magic bullet by any means." He said it wouldn't offset the cost of the village to provide services.

At the May meeting, Trustee Ed Lilla said it would make village taxpayers happy if they had to pay a few hundred dollars less for taxes. However, Trustee Bill Antti — who made the motion July 8 to not change the TIF district — said shrinking the district would extend the village's budget deficit.

On July 8, Goad said he thought this move would have affected this year's village tax rate.

"It's not going to do that," Jurewicz said.

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