Lake in the Hills looks to update economic incentive policy

LAKE IN THE HILLS – Lake in the Hills officials want to update the village's economic incentive policy, which is in place to help attract businesses to the community.

Last year, the village established an 18-month period where it offered a sales tax sharing program and fee-reduction program for development along Route 31 and Route 47. It was an update to its economic incentive policy established in 2010.

"We approached several developers and advised them of the new policy and some did proceed with researching development opportunities along these corridors with incentives in mind, however other market conditions resulted in those opportunities not materializing," Community Development Director Dan Olson wrote in a village memo.

Olson added that developers and investors had confusion over the additional language because it sounded exclusionary and limited because it didn't include the village's other target areas such as Rakow Road near the airport, Randall Road, and around the intersection of Pyott and Algonquin roads.

"There was a preference in the original language because it was more open and market driven," Olson wrote.

Village staff is looking at removing the 18-month program.

Officials want to add language to promote investment by reimbursing a portion of sales tax generated for new businesses investing in tenant build-outs or remodels.

"This will make it more affordable for new tenant prospects to open a business in the village and owners to market their available sites," Olson wrote.

However, according to the policy in place, incentive requests would be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Olson wrote that remodeling and interior build-outs are necessary in many existing in-line locations.

"The expense can sometimes make the difference in whether a project is financially feasible," Olson wrote.
"Offering sales tax rebates to new investment to help offset this cost gives the village sites a more competitive advantage over other communities."

The Village Board is scheduled to vote on the changes to the economic incentive policy at its meeting Thursday.

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