UPDATE -- The Rockford City Council gave the green light to the city's 32nd tax increment financing district. During Monday's meeting, aldermen voted 8 to 3 to designate the area between Mulford and Alpine on E. State St.a TIF district.
ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- One of Rockford’s busiest retail corridors is poised to get a major economic boost.
Aldermen will take a final vote Monday night on the creation of the city's 32nd tax increment financing, or TIF, district. Some aldermen say this plan would pump more than a million dollars back into this section of Rockford and help fill up store fronts that have spent years sitting vacant. The TIF would run along East State Street from Alpine Rd. to Mulford Road. This designation would provide tax incentives to businesses to develop in this area. An example of how that works, if a business moves into a vacant property, the city will be collecting tax, let's say 50 thousand dollars, that they hadn't before. That money goes into a pool for any business in the TIF to use to expand or hire more workers. The initial funds for that development usually come from bonds sold by this city, but this TIF is a little different.
“In this case, it’s a pay as you go TIF, which simply says invest your money and increase the tax base and we will give part of that money back to you for that risk up front. So I think that's a real win on both sides because were not actually putting out one dollar,” says 10th Ward Alderman Frank Beach.
Another unique aspect of this TIF, 15 percent of the money created will be split up among other local taxing bodies, including the Rockford school district and the airport. This was decided so those groups don't lose out on the thousands of dollars in tax revenue that this section of Rockford is expected to generate
Other aldermen have argued that this busy of section of Rockford isn't blighted and doesn't need this designation to stimulate growth, and focus should be put on other parts of the city.