Residents showed mixed opinions on the city of Woodstock’s proposed new tax increment financing district at a public hearing this week.
Tuesday’s hearing was continued to the next City Council meeting, when residents again will have a chance to voice their thoughts on the plan, which could be solidified in January.
The city has been in the process of establishing a second TIF district and the proposal has been met with some resistance. Woodstock School District 200, McHenry County College and some residents have been adamantly against the plan.
The proposed TIF would encompass about 500 acres in the downtown and Route 47 area.
Woodstock resident Paul Meyer said he was supportive of the city’s first TIF, but doesn’t favor them anymore.
“TIF can help a community by improving only the areas in the TIF,” he said. “They are very negative to all the other organizations that receive property tax funds. ... I am trying not to be negative, but I want to make sure [the City Council] has a good background and understands it.”
Meyer said he would be more willing to face a property tax increase than see another TIF be established, because at least those revenues would go to the entire community as opposed to just property in the district.
Others in the audience disagreed.
Tom Zanck, a Woodstock resident and local lawyer, said he supported the district.
“This seems like a unique opportunity to incite some change,” he said.
He added that it wasn’t too long ago that District 200 built new, bigger schools to prepare for development that never materialized and the district would get funding from developer fees coming from any new housing.
“I welcome the consideration of the TIF district,” Zanck said. “I hope it instills a lot more activity than the previous one.”
The City Council will continue the public hearing at 7 p.m. Dec 18 at City Hall, 121 W. Calhoun St.