Aldermen Spar Over Potential TIF Agreement

Aldermen Spar Over Potential TIF Agreement

Photo: Newsradio WTAX

Some Springfield aldermen have questions about tax increment financing money for a downtown redevelopment project.

Rehab of the McFadden building and others on east Monroe needs a new TIF agreement to extend the finishing deadline, plus it allows the proposed $1.9 million to be used on all three buildings involved.

But Ward 9 Alderman Steve Dove is worried the developer, Rick Lawrence, also owns the construction company, Siciliano Construction, that will likely do most of the reimbursable work.

“As the owner of the company, it’s his job to pay for what his company does to the project, not the city to reimburse him for his own payment and expenses from his own company,” said Dove.

While it’s Lawrence’s desire to have Siciliano do the work, there still must be a bidding process. Corporation Counsel Todd Greenburg reminded Dove that the city has discretion over what’s reimbursable and what isn’t.

Ward 1 Alderman Frank Edwards took it a step further, asking Dove, essentially, where does it end?

“Put that in an ordinance, ‘if you own a construction company you can’t qualify for TIFs, period.’ That’s what you said,” Edwards began.

“No I didn’t,” Dove replied.

“We bought a block property down here… you might as well say if you own a construction company you can’t bid… because you might make a dollar on it,” Edwards continued.

Tax increment finance money is used to reimburse to the developer as the property value increases. Once the value increases, so does the property tax base. Anything collected over the initial value of the taxing district is siphoned into the TIF fund, which is then used to reimburse those who have improved the property values.

Lawrence plans housing and additional retail for the projects.

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