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Board President's Response to Trenton TIF

Wesclin School District is supportive of our local businesses, and we appreciate the support that they have shown to us.  For the past 22 years, many businesses have benefited with the Broadway TIF and many great improvements have occurred.  We have been in support of the Broadway TIF agreement and the understanding that we would all benefit from these improvements.

Unfortunately, we cannot continue to support the Broadway TIF for an additional 12 years at the detriment to the taxpayers of Wesclin Unit School District and the students that would directly benefit from these funds unless the City of Trenton returns the full value of the tax revenue from the Broadway TIF district that Wesclin would receive if it were to expire. 

TIF districts are beneficial for the businesses that are included within the boundaries, but they could also prove to be a burden on the rest of the residents in the school district.  Tax revenues that are intended to go the school are not and taxpayers, not part of the TIF boundary, could be required to pay higher taxes. 

As of FY23, $142,000 per year that would otherwise be paid to Wesclin School District is being paid to the Broadway TIF fund.  This amount will increase each year as the value of the area increases and, based on inflation, would likely represent a loss to the Wesclin School District of over $2,000,000 throughout the proposed extension.

TIF agreements are not intended to be applied indefinitely, particularly when there is no clear plan for improvement that would provide an overall increased Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) of the area.  While we understand that Trenton may need improvements to the water system, we are unclear of any future development plans in this area that will substantially raise the EAV and have the intended effect of a TIF. We are also unsure if a Broadway TIF extension is the appropriate source of funding for this project.

I would like to reiterate that we have been in support of the Broadway TIF agreement for 22 years; however, Wesclin Unit School District cannot be asked to forfeit tax dollars from 2002 until 2037 and shift the burden onto the residents not included in the TIF boundary.

As school board members, we strive to work with community leadership to the best of our ability; ultimately, we must also represent everyone within the boundaries of the Wesclin School District. 

It is my opinion that this proposed extension is not equitable to the other taxpayers and businesses of Wesclin Unit School District #3 that are not part of this TIF.


Jeff Stroot

Jeff Stroot

Wesclin Unit School District Board of Education President

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