DeKALB – DeKalb County Administrator Gary Hansen envisions a future when an intergovernmental agreement between the city and county taxing bodies no longer is necessary, thanks to stricter tax increment finance regulations.
The city’s Joint Review Board met Friday to discuss the agreement ahead of an expected Feb. 11 vote by the City Council to create a third TIF district.
“I like the simplicity of it,” Hansen said about the drafted agreement during Friday’s meeting. “I think if we follow this further, we don’t need an [intergovernmental agreement]. That can just go by the wayside.”
The board has since expressed desire to reopen TIF conversations, after a Jan. 26 meeting.
The intergovernmental agreement for TIF 3 was presented to the Joint Review Board as three separate options, the first a TIF surplus alternative, which would terminate TIF 1 in 2021 rather than 2022. This would allow taxing bodies to collect as much funding from surplus in one year as they would over 16 or more years of TIF 3 increment, according to the agenda materials.
Jennifer Jeep-Johnson, DeKalb Township supervisor, cautioned the city to not “shrink down” the size of TIF 3.
“That’s just not going to yield as much increment as before,” Johnson said. “If we’re going to do a TIF, it seems to me we should make it have as much teeth as it can.”
Hansen also proposed funding the 145 Fisk Ave. boutique hotel project, if it happens, with money from TIF 1, even though the City Council earmarked $2.5 million from TIF 2 for the project in December.
The second option would be to collect 30 percent of surplus from TIF 3 in the first four to seven years, and then 50 percent beginning in Year 8 of the TIF and lasting until its termination.
The third option for a TIF 3 agreement would have the city share 50 percent of the annual increment according to each taxing body’s share of the tax bill after $1 million in annual increment is attained.
The board also expressed approval of a proposed city ordinance amendment known as Chapter 37, which will enact stricter TIF regulations in light of recent outcry.
The Joint Review Board will reconvene at 2 p.m. Feb. 15 in the DeKalb Municipal Building, 200 S. Fourth St., after taking the proposed agreement options back to representatives’ respective taxing bodies for consideration.