Bellwood Taxing Bodies To Get More Tax Revenue as Prairie View TIF Expires

Saturday, September 22, 2018 || By Igor Studenkov || @maywoodnews 

Featured image: Prairie View Apartments, a senior housing development in Bellwood that prompted the creation of the the C&NW Project 2 TIF, which recently expired. | MAI Architects 

The Bellwood Board of Trustees voted unanimously to allow the C&NW Project 2 Tax Increment Financing district to expire during a regular meeting on Sept. 19.

The TIF was established in 1995 for the sole purpose of covering the costs related to a loan necessary to build the second phase of Prairie View Apartments, a senior housing community located at 3428 Georgina Ln. in Bellwood.

Bellwood Mayor Andre Harvey said that the vote last week was a mere formality. The TIF was coming to the end of its 23-year lifespan, and would have expired automatically unless the village renewed it.

Peter Tsiolis, Bellwood’s economic development director, said that all of that the little more than $1.05 million the TIF collected as of 2017 went to Prairie View-related costs, so “there was no surplus.”

He said that with the project completed, there was no need to keep the TIF going. Letting it expire, he said, was a “win-win” for all of the taxing bodies involved.

Tsiolis said that The tax revenue that has been going into the TIF for the past 23 years, however, will now start going to the village, the park district, the library district and other local taxing bodies. Assuming the tax rates wouldn’t decrease significantly next year,  that could mean that, collectively, they would get at least $42,000 more.

When a TIF is created, the amount of money taxing bodies collect is frozen. And when taxes increase, the extra money that would normally go to the taxing bodies gets deposited into the fund.

Bellwood currently has eight TIFs, which, collectively, cover nearly half of the village’s total square footage. C&NW Project 2 was smaller than most of them, covering the section of Illinois Prairie Path trail between Bellwood Avenue and Mannheim Road, as well as most of Georgina Lane directly north of it — the area where the second phase of Prairie View was built.

The Northwest Railroad TIF, which expired in 2017, covers the first phase, which was built directly east of it, between Bellwood and Eastern Avenues.

According to a 2017 TIF report prepared by Cook County Clerk David Orr — the most recent report available — as of the end of last year,  the C&NW Project 2 TIF collected a total of around $1 million.  A little more than $42,000 was collected in 2017.

According to the same report, the Northwest Railroad TIF wound up collecting a total of $1.6 million, around $76,000 of which was collected in 2016, its final year of operation.

Even with the expiration, the amount of money sitting in Bellwood TIF funds is substantial. According to the 2017 report, all TIFs active at the time collected around $2 million in 2017 alone.  When taking the C&NW TIF out of the equation, all of the remaining TIFs have collected a total of $6 million. VFP 

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