Give St. Libory leaders high marks for creativity -- although not for practicality.
They want to bring in more students to their public school, where enrollment has been declining for years, and so they plan to offer property tax breaks to new homeowners.
But their tax giveaway scheme isn't likely to accomplish much except siphon off needed tax dollars. St. Libory is a nice small farm community. But in real estate, it's all about location, location, location and St. Libory just doesn't have it. People today want to live closer to fast food and grocery stores and the action; St. Libory is 13 miles from Freeburg.
The nearby Prairie State Energy campus didn't bring new residents to St. Libory; neither did new planned subdivisions. A tax rebate isn't suddenly going to make the town appealing.
Instead of tax breaks, St. Libory's leaders need to focus about how to consolidate their school with another nearby school district. It's school has just 86 students now, down from 104 in 2003. The community leaders don't like the trend but given their location, that's the reality.