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Hoffman Estates officials have recommended approval of a village-initiated tax increment financing district to spur commercial growth at the northeast and northwest corners of Higgins and Old Sutton roads.

Hoffman Estates officials are poised to grant an economic incentive Jan. 6 to spur development just west of The Arboretum of South Barrington shopping center, helping the vacant site join the commercial development going on around it.

The village’s planning, building and zoning committee voted 6-1 Monday to recommend approval of a tax increment financing district to pay for sewer and water utilities on the northeast and northwest corners of Higgins and Old Sutton roads.

The proposed TIF district would include a 24-acre parcel and a 16-acre parcel along Higgins Road west of Route 59 as well as adjacent right of way for a total of 64 acres.

Potential developments for the site include a gas station and convenience store along Old Sutton, 100,000 square feet of self storage along the CN Railroad tracks, and a 150,000-square-foot retail center. (Sound familiar?)

Read more here.

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Local governments throughout the state collected nearly $1 billion more in property taxes in 2018 than the year before, though the population declined by more than 45,000 residents, which increases the tax burden on the remaining homeowners.

Property tax collections by local governments in Illinois increased nearly $1 billion between 2017 and 2018 even as the state lost thousands of residents over that year.

Combined, 6,042 local governments received $31.8 billion in property taxes last year, according to Illinois Department of Revenue reports. That was $944 million more than what was collected in 2017 by those agencies.

Meanwhile, the state lost 45,116 residents in 2018, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures. That increased the tax burden on the remaining population to pay for services provided by towns, schools, counties and other local governments.

Statewide, local governments combined to collect $2,496 in property taxes for every resident in 2018, up from $2,413 per person in 2017, according to a Daily Herald analysis. In Cook and the collar counties, the amount of property taxes collected per resident is even higher.

The results of the analysis highlight the number of local governments in Illinois — the most in the nation — as well as how much local governments rely on property taxes, government finance experts said. Local governments that collect property taxes also include townships, park districts and a bevy of smaller specialized agencies that oversee operations of libraries, fire protection districts and other amenities.

Read the full Daily Herald article here.

 

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With a reduction in the quarterly parking fee at Barrington’s train station, officials say more revenue will be generated for the village by falling below a threshold requiring payment of a Cook County tax.

A reduction in the quarterly parking fee at downtown Barrington’s train station means more revenue will be generated for the village because the amount will fall below a threshold requiring a Cook County tax payment, officials said.

Commuters will pay $5 less — $195 instead of $200 — for the quarterly hangtag starting Jan. 1, said Barrington’s director of financial services, Jason Hayden. While the $200 quarterly permit wound up producing $182 in revenue, the village will keep all $195 by not triggering the 9% tax.

Cook County’s 9% parking lot and garage operations tax is applied on spaces that cost $15 or more per week in towns with 250,000 or fewer residents. Barrington tripped the tax because the quarterly parking rate, which started Oct. 1, worked out to $15.38 for each of 13 weeks covered by the $200 permit.

Barrington also raised the daily parking tab to $3.50 from $3 for the north and south lots in October, but avoided the tax on the higher rate after village officials sought assistance to change the threshold. Cook County had a 6% tax on municipal parking spaces costing more than $3 for a 24-hour period in communities with fewer than 250,000 residents.

Read the complete Daily Herald story here.

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Authorities say two people have been charged with animal cruelty after two horses were found dead and five others severely malnourished at a farm in Marengo. Courtesy of Hooved Animal Rescue & Protection Society)

Authorities say two people have been charged with animal cruelty after two horses were found dead and five others severely malnourished at a farm in Marengo.

McHenry County Animal Control officers were verifying vaccine records at a dog breeding operation when they discovered the horses. The Hooved Animal Rescue & Protection Society in Barrington Hills was contacted and found two dead miniature horses that appeared to have starved, it said.

Five malnourished horses were also found Friday. They’ve been taken to the society’s facility for treatment and are expected to recover.

Among the malnourished were four miniature and one full-sized horse, said Ronda Ewing, the president of the Hooved Animal Rescue & Protection Society.

Read more here.

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Barrington Hills property owners are expected to pay less in taxes to the village next year, continuing a trend that began in 2013.

Under the tentative tax levy, Barrington Hills intends to collect about $5 million from property owners in the mostly residential community in 2020. The village projects needing about $50,000 less in property taxes for next year.

“We’ve squeezed a little more out of the orange,” Village President Martin McLaughlin said Friday.

Barrington Hills’ property tax levies have declined annually since 2013. Officials said the yearly levy has been trimmed by a combined 24% over that time.

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Nearly $28 million for facility and building improvements is included in Lake County’s newly adopted $571.8 million budget.

The spending plan sets aside more than $10 million for construction inside the new courthouse tower in Waukegan, which opened last year.

It also includes $900,000 for architectural work relating to planned courthouse annex renovations, $900,000 for plans for a consolidated public safety facility in Libertyville, and $750,000 to develop designs for a proposed mental health crisis center, among other efforts.

Members from both sides of the political aisle spoke favorably about the plan, which doesn’t increase the tax levy for county property owners.

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Members of the Barrington Plan Commissioners said residents were not vocal during the Oct. 8, 2019 public hearing on the issue of cannabis dispensaries in the village.
But Village President Karen Darch said she has heard from residents, who favor not allowing the businesses in Barrington.

The Barrington Plan Commission recommended that the village not allow cannabis dispensaries in town when recreational use becomes legal Jan. 1, but commissioners point out that residents have not publicly weighed in much on the issue – one way or another.

Plan Commission Chair Anna Bush said that when Barrington trustees referred the recreational cannabis issue to the commission to conduct a public hearing and make a recommendation on whether to allow dispensaries and other businesses as a special use, the elected leaders made their view clear.

“We got a very clear direction from the Village Board. There was little question there,” Bush said.

Village President Karen Darch said she has received a few calls and emails from people letting her know they oppose the idea of a dispensary in Barrington.

“People seem prepared to be leaning toward opting out,” Darch said. “I’ve received a few calls. It seems people would rather not see (a dispensary) here.”

Read more here.

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