Deerfield board approves TIF feasibility studies for downtown, Lake-Cook

Updated 8/4/2022 11:29 AM

The Deerfield board of trustees moved closer toward establishing tax incentive districts in two locations.

At Monday's meeting, by separate 5-0 votes, the board approved resolutions for feasibility studies for TIFs for portions of the central business district and Village Center, and also south of 909-1601 Lake-Cook Road to the Edens Expressway spur, bordered on the east by Pfingsten Road.


Monday's presentation by Deerfield's assistant manager and director of Community Development, Andrew Lichterman, and Phil McKenna, co-founder of Kane, McKenna, and Associates, which specializes in municipal economic development and finance, picked up where a May 24 meeting of Deerfield's Committee of the Whole left off.

At that COW meeting, Lichterman said prior TIF districts in the same spots had paid for the village hall, led to an office complex on Lake-Cook Road, and aided redevelopment of Deerfield Square. The TIFs ended a year early -- they run a maximum of 23 years -- and during that time the value of the affected property increased tenfold.

Once they're adopted, TIFs freeze the level of payments to taxing jurisdictions until they are retired. Increased tax revenues on top of that baseline -- the increment, Lichterman explained, -- go into a fund that may be used for further development within the district.

Lichterman noted TIFs may attract investments into new businesses while retaining those currently there.

When the TIF expires, the taxing jurisdictions receive a full tax share of what is anticipated to be property of higher value.

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In its resolutions Monday, the village said it did not expect further long-term growth or investment to occur in either the downtown or Lake-Cook locations without establishing these TIF districts.

Areas do need to qualify to apply for a TIF, and the feasibility studies will help determine whether or not the proposed areas are appropriate for the designation.

McKenna said that as a "classic downtown," Deerfield's business district and Village Center jibe with TIF intent to also be "a conservation area," as more than 50% of the buildings are at least 35 years old. That provides a "big jump-start," he said.

McKenna said he'd prefer to move the process along for both areas simultaneously, but since the Village Center is in Lake County and Lake-Cook Road is in Cook County, current equalized assessed evaluation and tax shares are as yet unavailable from Cook County.


"We're very confident in the qualification criteria with respect to downtown. We're still working on the Lake-Cook," he said.

McKenna expected the downtown eligibility report to be available within the next two weeks. with the Lake-Cook report a week or two later.

Still, with the resolutions approved on Monday, the plan this month is for Deerfield staff to work with Kane, McKenna, and Associates to prepare an eligibility report and a formal TIF plan. In September, joint review boards will be established, plus a public hearing, or hearings, scheduled.

In October, the joint review board meetings will take place, with a possible outcome being a nonbinding recommendation.

A final public hearing will take place in January 2023, when the village board could consider and adopt TIF districts and enabling ordinances, Lichterman said. Phil McKenna said it's advisable to wait until January rather than December because the year the TIF is adopted, the 23-year clock starts running.

In addition to resolutions for the TIF feasibility studies, trustees unanimously approved a corresponding pair of ordinances for a required "interested party registry" for each location.

McKenna said the registry "is a public opportunity for anyone to sign up, to receive copies of all documents placed on file. So anyone who wants to know, soup to nuts, everything that's going on would sign up by that Interested Parties Ordinance and then the (Deerfield Village) clerk would send them those ordinances."

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