To the Editor:
I would like to thank Eric Olson for his excellent editorial, published Sept. 12, about the tax increment financing problem. TIF has concerned me for several years. At a recent City Council meeting, I suggested that both TIFs be allowed to die when their terms end. The response to this suggestion was tepid. I am hoping that Olson’s well-researched and clearly written editorial will create more enthusiasm – at least among the local taxpayers.
It would be helpful if those who are currently managing the two existing TIFs would publish, in the Chronicle, an accounting of the particulars. How much money was siphoned off from each of the taxing bodies over the years? To whom did it go? How much, if any, has been returned to the city, through taxes or otherwise and the perceived resulting benefits to the city.
Then, if the current City Council wishes to create a new district for refurbishing, it could make a proposal detailing how much money would be needed for the intended action, put it on a ballot, and the residents could decide.
I have been a voting resident of DeKalb for more than 50 years and have found it to be a pretty generous community. Give us a chance.
Jere S. Tulk