While the Village of Arlington Heights publicly dismisses concerns over subsidies for the proposed Chicago Bears stadium and real estate development, new reporting from Caroline Kubzansky of the Chicago Tribune reveals significant concern from stakeholders over the potential for property tax dollars being diverted to the Bears via a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district.
Statement from AFP-IL Deputy State Director Brian Costin:
“Local schools and other taxing bodies have every right to be concerned about the Village of Arlington Heights using a TIF district and it is clear that this project would place enormous financial pressures on local school districts as well as other overlapping taxing bodies in Cook County.
“The Village of Arlington Heights should immediately rule out putting the profits of billionaires before the education of our children. We request the Village of Arlington Heights remove corporate welfare subsidies, including TIF Districts, from the Pre-Development Agreement the Village Board is voting on at the November 7 board meeting.”
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“The planned stadium and additional developments are exciting to consider and potentially transformational to the area and the Village. The plans also hold such potential to have a significant impact on District 15.”
“Third, there was some mention of tax increment financing (TIF) at the meeting. As I suggested in my letter to the Mayor of May 18, 2022, the establishment of a TIF district would be a significant concern for District 15. Based upon anticipated student generation and the need for capital improvements to serve those students, we would urge the Village to look at other economic development tools rather than TIF to help facilitate the project. Given the potential impact on District 15, locking up billions of dollars of EAV in a TIF district for 23 years would be a real concern for our District.”
The Bears’ proposal includes massive new residential development and the responsibility of educating hundreds or thousands of new students. This project would place enormous financial pressures on local school districts as well as other overlapping taxing bodies in Cook County.
A proposed $5B development in a TIF district with a starting value of under $200 million would allow more than 96% of the project’s property taxes to be swept away for the purpose of corporate welfare. If such a TIF district were in place today it would be the largest revenue-collecting TIF district in the State of Illinois by a significant margin, potentially collecting nearly $200 million in new property taxes every year.