Letter to the Editor: Is it time to consider a residential-based TIF district for northwest Quincy?

Mark Philpot

Mark Philpot

I had the privilege of attending the TIF Board annual meeting on Dec. 13 when representatives of the various taxing bodies got together and discussed the progress of the TIF districts currently in operation in the city. There are two, and another is to be proposed very soon.

During the public comment section of the meeting, I posed the following question to the board: If the purpose of a TIF district is to generate a revenue stream that will be used to facilitate funding for infrastructure, and that infrastructure will in turn promote growth, then why have no TIFs been discussed for northwest Quincy?

The room became silent.

In the interest of full disclosure, northwest Quincy is where I call home. A number of my neighbors who are property owners would love to develop on lots they own. However, the lack of suitable infrastructure makes those improvements cost-prohibitive. Who would build anything on a piece of property with 100-year-old pipes beneath it?

But wait! There’s an opportunity for Quincy to do something that has never been done before — a residential-based TIF.

TIFs currently get their mojo from commercial properties. The portion from each of the taxing bodies that goes into the TIF fund goes to support the infrastructure for future development. What if there was a portion of your (our) property taxes that would go into a fund that would support that development in your neighborhood exclusively?  

Chuck Bevelheimer, director of planning and development, said such a thing is possible, though it’s never been done in Quincy before.  Even better, it would have to have local representatives (neighbors) on that board. 

What do ya say, Quincy? Let’s do something different.

Mark C. Philpot
Quincy, Illinois

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