Posted: 31 Oct 2019 12:00 AM PDT
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EDWARDSVILLE — City officials at the Finance Committee and Administrative and Community Service (ACS) Committee approved closing the North Gateway Commerce Center Tax-Increment Financing (TIF), seven years sooner than originally scheduled.
Edwardsville established the North Gateway Commerce Center TIF District and Plan (known informally as TIF 3) in 2003 to facilitate development of the area and improve access for planned logistics centers at Gateway Commerce Center.
The expected life of the TIF was 23 years and was set to expire in 2026. The anticipated projects and payments on the outstanding debts incurred in relation to the projects have been satisfied as of 2019.
"We're proud that we're being responsive and getting that property back on the tax rolls," said Mayor Hal Patton. He said there are 29 buildings and 6,000 employees in the warehouse district.
In 2003, the project started with an interchange at Route 255 and what is now Gateway Commerce Center Drive.
"It was originally issued as TIF Notes, then we refinanced it into general obligation bonds," said City Clerk Jeanne Wojcieszak.
Patton said the city and developer collaborated to incentivize the property and it worked. The assessed value was $20,000 in 2003; now it's valued at more than $20 million. Wojcieszak added that there was also a 10 percent pass-through of the increment generated to the taxing bodies during the TIF's life.
City Attorney Jeff Berkbigler said Hershey-Crescent and Osborn-Hesse Logistics are the principal generators of the increment. Hershey recently added 400,000-square-feet on its own without any incentives or development agreements, Berkbigler said. The new addition's full impact on EAV is not known yet.
"This is a good example of a TIF working effectively and properly," he said.
Every applicable taxing district will see funds from this over the next two Aprils, April 2020 and April 2021, including the city. The first surplus is expected to be about $1.3 million, with the city getting $205,000. In 2021, the surplus is estimated to be at least $1.45 million with the city set to receive at least $218,000.
Since there are no additional projects or debt in the TIF district going forward, the city sought to terminate the TIF early for the benefit of the taxing bodies in that district.
Equalized assessed valuation or EAV, will return to the affected taxing bodies for 2020 and payable in 2021 will return to the taxing bodies' tax rolls.
TIF 3 has been a substantial success in creating over $19 million dollars of new EAV growth for the taxing districts in the TIF. Further, the Gateway Commerce Center interchange at 255 has facilitated additional development and growth in the area.
"Last year's EAV was $19.4 million," said Wojcieszak for those two buildings, with a market value of more than $60 million, added Berkbigler.
This leaves the city with two active TIFs, #2 and #4. TIF #1 was previously completed.
Ending a TIF early requires an ordinance. The proposed ordinance would terminate the TIF as of Dec. 31 and return the incremental EAV to the rate-setting EAV for 2020 and years going forward. The city notified the affected taxing districts of this action by letter on Oct. 22, pursuant to the TIF Act.
This ordinance now goes to the full city council for action on Nov. 5.
Reach reporter Charles Bolinger at (618) 659-5735.
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