Posted Online: Jan. 08, 2013, 7:41 pm

Atkinson establishes 1st TIF district

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By Claudia Loucks, cjloucks@qconline.com

ATKINSON – The village board approved three ordinances Monday that establish the town's first tax-increment-finance district, which covers most of the town.

"This should create more independence for the village by not having to raise taxes or raise rates on a regular basis," Mayor August Junior said. "It will be good for generations to come."

TIF districts are investment tools municipalities use to attract development to areas that do not have natural growth. Any increase in property tax assessments from development within the TIF district goes into a special fund for use in attracting additional development, improving infrastructure within the district or repaying some development costs.

Monday, the board approved the TIF plan and redevelopment project, designated TIF boundaries and adopted the authority to use tax-increment-financing.

Trustee Beth VanVooren abstained from voting on the advice of TIF consultant Herb Klein, of Jacob & Klein LTD and the Economic Development Group of Bloomington, because she owns property in the TIF district.

Trustee Ken Taber, who was absent Monday, also would have been asked to abstain because he also owns property in the TIF district.

In March, the board approved formation of a TIF district -- which includes West View Estates, the interstate corridor at the south edge of town, an industrial site at the east edge and the downtown area – and hired Jacob & Klein to develop it.

In other business, the board approved spending $13,500 to buy a 1998 International truck from Centre State International Inc., Peoria, for plowing snow and distributing salt. It replaces a truck "that should have been replaced 10 years ago," Mayor Junior said.