Local Government

Quincy TIF district set for 12-year extension

The Mississippi riverfront in downtown Quincy on Thursday, June 4, 2020. The General Assembly approved a bill last month that would extend the life of the Tax Increment Financing West District.
H-W Photo/Katelyn Metzger
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jun. 5, 2020 12:01 am

QUINCY — One of downtown Quincy's tax increment financing districts is set to receive a 12-year extension after Illinois lawmakers approved legislation last month.

The TIF West District would have expired in December 2021 without legislative action. TIFs have a 23-year lifespan, but state lawmakers can grant an additional 12 years.

The district encompasses an area roughly between the Mississippi River and Fifth Street, from Broadway to Delaware.

The bill, which included TIF extensions for several other communities, was approved by both chambers during the brief legislative session. It awaits a signature from Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Chuck Bevelheimer, director of planning and development, said this provides the city an opportunity to develop additional projects and the downtown rental rehab program for upper levels of downtown buildings.

"We're now in a position where we can tell developers that we can support projects going forward, because without that our program was going to expire in 2021," Bevelheimer said. "It's hard to get into position when you're talking to a developer about supporting a project when you're term expires in a year."

TIF districts generate revenue by locking in the equalized assessed valuation. As property values rise, property taxes generated from the increased property value is placed in a fund to use for projects. This could include infrastructure work or assist with a private development.

Bevelheimer said the city generates about $440,000 in TIF money each year. The equalized assessed valuation in the TIF has nearly doubled from $5.8 million to $11.5 million, with $11 million in infrastructure work completed and about $76 million in major public and private construction projects.

"We see the potential of another $15 million to $20 million in investment occurring in the TIF going forward," he said. "We think this is a great investment for downtown, and we're very pleased that Sen. (Jil) Tracy and Rep. (Randy) Frese helped us through the legislative process to get it to this point."

The District Executive Director Bruce Guthrie said the rental rehab program has been beneficial for the downtown as it allows for upper-level renovation.

"It's been able to take these buildings that have upper levels that have not been able to be used for anything and turned them into a viable source for the community to be able to live in the downtown," Guthrie said. "It increases property value, which increases those property tax dollars that have been invested into it. I just looked at a few new ones that are about ready to come online soon and they look fantastic."

The city will issue a request for proposals for the downtown rental rehab program in July.

The second TIF District — the TIF East District formed in 2010 — roughly runs between Fifth and Ninth Streets and Broadway and York.