The village of Mount Prospect recently offered Township High School Dist. 214 its “best and final offer” for a potential deal on the village’s one-year-old Prospect & Main Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district. If the school district does not reach an agreement with the village, litigation, which has cost the village around $10,000 so far in legal fees, is expected to continue.
VIEW: Notice of Electronic Filing
Mount Prospect Village Attorney Lance Malina said both sides went back and forth prior to the end of 2017, which included the village making an offer that the school district countered with a proposal of their own. Malina said the village board rejected that counter proposal and reasserted their most recent proposal back to the district. Details about the current offer are unknown, as village officials will not disclose what they presented Dist. 214 with in terms of a final compromise. An attempt by the Journal to contact district officials was unsuccessful.
Dist. 214 filed a June 2017 lawsuit in Cook County challenging the establishment of the village’s Prospect & Main TIF district covering most of downtown Mount Prospect. Municipalities use TIF districts to spur investment and development in a specific area.
Dist. 214 has claimed property tax bills will increase as a result of the new TIF district and that several properties should not be included (https://www.d214.org/district-214-board-authorizes-lawsuit-challenging-new-mount-prospect-tif-district/). “The unilaterally new/extended downtown TIF District does not appear to meet the qualifications for a TIF. We are objecting to Mount Prospect’s TIF in an effort to stem the tide of TIF tax increases and the shift of school property tax burden to residents and businesses outside the TIF,” said Dan Petro, vice president of the District 214 Board of Education. “Further, I suggest that our legislators and Governor review the misuse of TIF districts and other tax incentives that create additional tax burdens on residents of our community.”
“The village board has looked at and tried to understand how it could compromise on money issues by pumping some of the future TIF revenue back into all of the affected taxing bodies,” Malina said. The village board knows that the new TIF needs a certain amount of generated money to spur redevelopment, Malina said, and is looking at the bottom line and best interest of the village.
Malina called the actions by both sides “counterproductive for everyone.” The next court date is scheduled for Feb. 7 at the Daley Center in Chicago. Should an agreement not be reached, Malina said he expects the matter to eventually go to trial in about a year.
According to village officials, the village’s TIF eligibility study indicates that property values in the Prospect & Main TIF district lost value for five years in a row and the new TIF will achieve benefits for the entire community, including Dist. 214. Prior to the most recent offer, the village has offered Dist. 214 two separate compromise settlements involving payments to the district prior to the end of the TIF in 23 years, but those were rejected by Dist. 214.
To view ordinances and other documentation related to the Prospect & Main TIF, visit the TIF Document Portal: http://www.mountprospect.org/services/transparency-and-fact-check/tif-document-portal
The Village has been in discussions with District 214 since March 2017. You can view the initial term sheet proposed by District 214 (http://www.mountprospect.org/home/showdocument?id=7561), as well as the Village's response (http://www.mountprospect.org/home/showdocument?id=7565) and offers to the District (http://www.mountprospect.org/home/showdocument?id=7563 and http://www.mountprospect.org/home/showdocument?id=7577).