The village of Oswego is proposing to create a TIF, or tax increment financing, district in the downtown area.
During a public hearing Tuesday evening, Oswego residents responded to the TIF plan, which could go up for a village board vote as early as next month.
“This [TIF] is extremely important to the village,” Village President Gail Johnson told the crowd at the hearing, according to KendallCountyNow.com
“It’s a unique opportunity to assist development and implement much-needed infrastructure improvements,” she said, adding that the “sewer and water lines are in bad shape.”
TIF is an economic development tool that depends on property tax dollars.
Through the program, a portion of property tax dollars gets extracted from those living within TIF districts in areas deemed economically blighted. In return, TIF money is used for economic development projects inside the TIF districts.
But not all Oswego residents are sold on the plan.
One 20-year resident expressed worry that the new TIF district would open the door to overcrowding, more traffic and greater pressure on the village’s water supply.
He claimed some other Illinois suburbs have been “ruined” by, what he believes is, an overuse of TIF districts.
“For me, the program is bad for Oswego, bad for citizens and bad for taxpayers,” the man said. “In my opinion, and my research, I don’t think we should follow suit with Naperville and Plainfield and Geneva. I am totally against it. I just wish the people had somebody that was representing us like a big lawyer.”