Article updated at 2 p.m. on Jan. 10, 2013
Community Development Director Paula Wallrich says several reasons called for the revisions. Declining property values have resulted in a lower-than-expected TIF fund balance. Wallrich also said some long-time businesses in town are requesting more help as part of a developing business retention program.
“We also wanted to make sure that we were doing everything we could to secure and protect the village’s investment,” Wallrich said.
Homewood has three main TIF programs: Façade and Property Improvement, Retail Enhancement and Go Green. Formerly, only the Retail Enhancement program had a spending cap of $10,000. New changes will include a $25,000 cap for the Façade and Property Improvement program and a $5,000 cap for the Go Green program.
Additionally, Wallrich says the village will maintain a fourth TIF program set aside for businesses that may have a particularly large impact on the community—such as the upcoming downtown hotel, La Banque. These TIF applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and must meet a minimum $150,000 investment, according to Wallrich. Other changes include increased scrutinization of TIF applications and a new TIF incentive review committee.
“I like this,” Trustee Anne Colton said. “I think it’s important for both the business that we’ll be funding and people in the community to see … we really do take a lot of care into this and we’re not just randomly handing out money.”
The village board voted unanimously to pass the changes.