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District 205 School Board Will Hold a Special Meeting Tuesday to Discuss TIF

With the city's final vote on TIF 4 coming Sept. 4, School Board members want to make sure the interests of students are protected as much as possible.

Elmhurst Unit District 205 Board of Education will hold a special meeting Tuesday, Aug. 28, to discuss the city's plan to set up a new tax increment financing district and how that TIF and others affect the School District.

According to information provided on the District 205 website, the full board will discuss the district's existing 2004 intergovernmental agreement with the City of Elmhurst, which involves the city's downtown TIF 1, as well as the city's plan for a new TIF along North York Road (TIF 4).

TIF districts freeze assessed property values for local taxing bodies for up to 23 years to encourage redevelopment in areas considered blighted. TIFs generate revenue through new construction in the district. The difference between the frozen property value and any new growth goes into a fund to pay for public improvements or help finance projects in the TIF district as incentives to developers.

District 205, as the largest collector of property taxes in Elmhurst, has a big stake in the way the city handles these matters. While the School District has no say in whether the city establishes a TIF, it has with city officials for a couple of months to come up with a way to lessen its impact on students.

School Board members have gone on record as saying the to establish the fourth TIF, and as of the School Board's last meeting Aug. 14, , according to School Board member Chris Blum.

The , a nonprofit, nonpartisan legal organization based in Elmhurst, , saying it is a "boondoggle" and that the process has become politically "corrupt."

City officials say the incentives TIF districts provide to developers are necessary to spur development, increase property values and ultimately provide a greater tax base for all taxing bodies. They point to the city's other three TIF districts as evidence of their success.

TIF 4 is slated for final approval by Elmhurst City Council on Tuesday, Sept. 4. If all are approved, there would be a total of six TIF districts within the city.

The School Board will first meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in closed session to discuss an unrelated matter of probable or imminent litigation.

The public meeting will convene at 8 p.m. The meeting will be held at the administration center, 162 S. York St. Members of the public will be invited to speak for up to three minutes.

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