City Council to discuss opposition of TIF bill

Helena Edwards, Staff Reporter

The Charleston City Council will meet Tuesday to vote upon a resolution that will oppose the bill SB2298 that is Amending the Tax Increment Allocation Redevelopment Act of the Illinois Municipal Code. 

The act includes tax increment financing to create and promote redevelopment, providing cities with ways to construct public infrastructure and spur economic development as well as job growth within their jurisdictions. 

The resolution said, “SB2298 (the “Bill”), sponsored by Senator Ann Gillespie and co-sponsored by Senator Melinda Bush attempts to eliminate the effectiveness of the most important tool available to municipalities to enhance positive economic change.” 

Reasons for opposition to the bill as included in the resolution are classification changes of “blighted areas” for improved industrial, commercial, and residential buildings that reduces the eligibility for distressed areas throughout Illinois communities. 

Another is several restrictions on tax increment financing such as a requirement that all new redevelopment projects be completed no later than the end of 10 years after a TIF Ordinance is created instead of the 23 years now allowed, as well as would prohibit new or modified redevelopment project areas that overlap with other previously approved project areas. 

The bill would also impose stricter requirements for equalized assess value decline and eliminate some TIF eligibility criteria like dilapidation, deterioration, code standards, excessive vacancies, lack of ventilation, obsolete platting, diversity of ownership, and adjacent deterioration. 

The Council will vote upon a resolution to allocate $543,738 in Motor Fuel Tax funds for maintaining streets and highways for the FY 2022. 

Council members will also vote on resolutions accepting bidding awards, one for the acceptance of unit prices for various street maintenance materials and another on accepting a bid award on the MFT Seal Coat Project contract to be awarded to NeCo Asphalt Company for a contract price of $102,924. 

Both the bid opening for the City of Charleston’s MFT Street Maintenance Materials and MFT Seal Coat Project were conducted May 11, 2021. 

A resolution will be voted upon to declare a local state of emergency as of May 18 in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mayor Brandon Combs can then execute authority provided under the Illinois Municipal Code, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act and Ordinance 20-O-7. 

The mayor will also be making the announcement of his reappointment of Matt Madigan and Nora Pat Small to 1-Year Terms as Ex Officio Members of the Charleston Historic Preservation Commission. 

Following the action items, members of the public are given the opportunity to contact the council. On matters not on the agenda, no action will be taken, and the Council is not obligated to take any further action or to address the matter further. Public comment can be sent to [email protected] in person or by email.  

Those interested in sending public comment should send emails to the city clerk by 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, with the subject line: CC: 05/18/2021, so the city clerk knows it is for the meeting.