By ALAN J. ORTBALS
Over the last year, Keith Moran, president of Moran Economic Development in Edwardsville, has been working with cities, counties and numerous taxing districts throughout Southwestern Illinois on enterprise zones, business districts and tax increment finance districts.
“There are a lot of TIF districts that are expiring these days,” Moran said. “I’ve been working with cities like Mascoutah, Shiloh and Glen Carbon to help them disband their districts. These TIFs are doing what they are supposed to be doing. They were created to achieve certain goals; they have done their jobs; and now they are being closed down so that increased assessed value can go back on the tax rolls.”
In addition to the passage of ordinances and filings with the state, when a TIF district is being closed, money not obligated in the TIF fund has to be divided up among the taxing districts, each according to its pro-rata share. Moran helps the cities through that process.
On the other hand, some TIF districts are approaching their 23-year sunset but still have important work to do. In those cases, Moran helps cities extend the life of those districts another 12 years. For example, Hartford’s district needed to be extended, as did the Caseyville district that encompasses the State Route 157 and Interstate 64 interchange. There, under new terms, the city will be declaring a portion of the TIF revenues as surplus in order to rebate those monies back to the taxing bodies. The remaining TIF revenues will be used to fund stormwater improvements and extend utilities around that important intersection.
Moran works extensively with many communities in the Metro East in developing pro-active TIF policies, assisting projects utilizing the TIF or business district program, administering TIF districts and helping communities with TIF reporting to the State of Illinois. These include Maryville, Dupo, Cahokia, Shiloh,
Hartford, Jerseyville, Glen Carbon, Highland and Godfrey.
Moran has also been busy helping communities with changes to their enterprise zones. Last year he worked with Pontoon Beach, Edwardsville, the Southwestern Illinois Development Authority and Madison County to expand the Gateway Commerce Enterprise Zone south to enable the development of a hotel in Pontoon Beach.
He’s currently working with Shiloh, Mascoutah, Lebanon, O’Fallon, St. Clair County and SWIDA to amend the Mid-America enterprise zone to add property tax abatement. Aside from working with the participating zone sponsors, he’s also working with the various taxing districts on the tax abatement issue. The goal is to match the tax abatement offered at the Gateway Commerce Center in Madison County.
Moran has also recently worked with the participants in the American Bottoms Enterprise Zone — Cahokia, Dupo, Sauget, East Carondelet and St. Clair County — on a new application for designation as the existing zone is set to expire in 2020. This application process is similar to what’s already been done for some of the other zones like the Riverbend and Southwestern Enterprise Zones.