The Shiloh board of trustees approved adopting a Green Mount Crossing Business District plan, which will impose an additional retail sales tax increase of up to 1 percent.
The additional money will help cover the costs to repair mine subsidence in the area. The Green Mount shopping complex encompasses several large retailers, including Target, Diebergs, Ashley Furniture and Michaels.
Trustee Mark Kurtz, who cast the solo dissenting vote, said he did not agree with using taxpayers’ money to assist in costs that should be borne by businesses.
“I have never been a proponent of using taxpayer funds to pay for the costs of a for-profit entity. The risk and rewards of developing property is something that the village should not be using taxpayers’ funds to fund,” Kurtz wrote in an e-mail.
Village Treasurer Bill Boker said the village has a good financial footing to be able to reach out to offer assistance.
“Mine subsidence is a vexing issue in St. Clair County, affecting many personal and business properties. Although the village doesn’t have a specific obligation to help for-profit entities, it does have an obligation to maintain village-related assets and revenue streams, and the business district may be the best solution in this case,” he wrote in an email.
I have never been a proponent of using taxpayer funds to pay for the costs of a for profit entity. The risk and rewards of developing property is something that the village should not be using taxpayers’ funds to fund.
Mark Kurtz, Village of Shiloh trustee
The maximum the village would collect for a mine reclamation project is $6 million.
Brent Beumer, of Dierbergs, who was representing the developer the Green Mount Crossing Shopping Center LLC, said the budgeted amount of expenses for the mine remediation project is in an excess of $10 million, but is worth it for the village to help because of the positive economic impact with the shopping center generating sales tax revenue for the village. Mine remediation work is already underway and will take several months to complete.
If over the life of this business district — 23 years — more than $6 million in additional revenue is collected, then the cap would come into play, Boker said, and the reimbursement amount would be limited to $6 million.
“The area being mitigated is basically the Dierbergs and Michaels building, as well as Ashley Furniture and obviously all the small retail shops between Ashley and Michaels and the shops on either side of Dierbergs,” Beumer explained.
“The goal here is two-fold: One, we of course want to stop the building from slipping and moving both horizontally and vertically. We don’t have any issue right now with the buildings being inhabited and the businesses still up and running, but if we weren’t to do any of this now, if we just let it continue to go, we don’t know how much risk would be involved” in the future.
Village Attorney Terry Bruckert said he is submitting paperwork and documents to the Illinois Department of Revenue next week, and if approved, as he anticipates, the sales tax increase of up to 1 percent will take effect July 1 and will last for 23 years, just like a Tax Increment Financing District.
During a public hearing last month, Shiloh Mayor Jim Vernier said the Green Mount Crossing Business District Plan provides for public investment in mine subsidence remediation encompassing 10 parcels of property and rights-of-way in the village.
“The Dierbergs Crossing shopping center is the single largest sales tax contributor, and without that it would be devastating,” Vernier said. “If the mine subsidence started affecting the cooler-refrigeration systems at Dierbergs, and the grocery store had to shut down and any of the other stores, too, I don’t think there would be a stigma and people would be scared to go into the buildings, and secondly, the loss of the revenue to our community would be a disaster truly.”
Beumer said three businesses within the Green Mount Crossing shopping center will not be included in the formation of the business district — Target, 54th Street Bar & Grill and Golden Corral. This means anything purchased at those establishments would not be subject to the sales tax increase.