JOLIET – Property owners in the newly formed tax increment financing district surrounding Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center can start seeking the incentive.
The Joliet City Council this week approved the TIF district, which includes the hospital and most of the business community in the immediate area around it. TIF districts offer property owners opportunities to offset the costs of new construction or renovations by recouping the higher property taxes levied when a building is constructed or improved.
Joliet Economic Development Director Steve Jones cautioned that people have had some misconceptions about the TIF district, especially regarding how they get a tax rebate.
“Some people are thinking you just tell the city you’re in the TIF district and you get the rebate,” Jones said. “They don’t understand that the rebate comes from improving the property.”
Even property improvements face a test to determine if they qualify for the tax incentive.
The owner needs to show that the improvements would not pay for themselves without the tax incentive, Jones said. That is demonstrated through a formula used in the TIF application.
Jones said property owners should contact him at City Hall to apply for the TIF district.
Also coming up sometime in the next few months is an open house that the city will hold with property owners to determine how public funds generated by the TIF district should be used.
The TIF district creates a pool of public funds through increased assessed value in the district. That money is to be used for streetscapes, marketing or other purposes aimed at improving the economic health of the neighborhood.
Jones said he expects to schedule the meeting sometime in the next two or three months.
Although individual property owners can start applying for TIF incentives, no money will be in the community fund until taxes are collected in 2018.
The TIF district generally is between Glenwood Avenue and Jefferson Street on the north and south. It runs east to west from Hammes Avenue to Republic Avenue.