Zion-Benton News

District 6 leery of new Zion

By: Ginny Skweres
Zion-Benton News staff

The City of Zion is considering a 23-year Tax Increment Financing District in an effort to bring business to Trumpet Park.

The area qualifies for the status because it is an industrial park conservation area and is blighted according to an attorney hired by the city.

There are wetlands in Trumpet Park.

A second TIF District is being considered by the city for the area near 21st Street and Sheridan Road and would include the Jewel grocery store, Family Dollar and Advance Auto Parts plus some nearby businesses on Sheridan Road.

A TIF district affects all of the taxing bodies in the TIF district because any new taxes generated by development in the TIF go into a fund to encourage more development rather than being distributed to all of the taxing bodies.

The taxing bodies would continue to receive taxes at the pre-improvement rate for all 23 years, which is the maximum amount of time allowed.

At the end of the 23 years, any money left in the TIF fund is distributed to the impacted taxing bodies.

In general, the Zion District 6 Elementary School Board does not like the length of the TIF.

An older TIF District for the downtown area is about to expire.

At the April 17 board meeting, school board member Ruth Davis said the school districts get hammered about taxes and wants the district to receive its portion of a distribution from that earlier TIF.

“It will no way make up for what we’ve lost,” she said.

Board member Margie Taylor said she’d like to be neighborly, but the city doesn’t play by the same rules.

Board member Donna Flammini said she had asked the city for more information, but didn’t receive any.

The District 6 attorney said it was unfair to ask the board for a decision without more information and what other options there are.