O'Fallon Progress

Enterprise zone encourages commercial development, but preserves tax revenue for schools

The O’Fallon Progress

The O'Fallon Progress serves readers in O'Fallon.
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The O'Fallon Progress serves readers in O'Fallon.

O’Fallon city officials will meet with school districts 203 and 90 on Feb. 12 on moving forward with the MidAmerica Enterprise Zone that was established to develop the Rieder Road area, and how it can benefit the taxing bodies.

The O’Fallon City Council advanced a proposed amendment to the enterprise zone at its Feb. 4 meeting to allow various taxing bodies to voluntarily abate a portion of their property taxes for up to 10 years to provide incentives to industrial and commercial uses within the zone.

Final approval will be at the Tuesday, Feb. 19 council meeting.

Mayor Herb Roach said the basic elements to the agreement is that the the schools start receiving revenue quicker than under TIF’s and that the tax dollars produced by this development will lessen the tax burden on homeowners.

“If you look at the revenue it has produced in other areas such as Edwardsville you will see that it produces significant additional revenue for the schools,” Roach said. “Unlike with TIF’s where cities can make the decision to do it, wiith Enterprise Zones each entity can choose to participate or not.”

The push for development at Illinois 158 and Reider Road, along Interstate 64, presents ideal potential for distribution centers and light manufacturing, planners believe.

Roach said water is already out in the Reider Road area, and sewer work is anticipated for about 250 acres on the west side closer to Ill. 158. The east side will be more challenging. This area is near the Mid-America Airport, too.

“We are looking at ways to make that happen, plan for the future. We have active interest out there. We’ve been talking to some developers. It’s not pie in the sky,” he said last July at a Town Hall meeting.

In order to amend the zone and allow this tax abatement provision to take effect, each municipality and St. Clair County must adopt the attached ordinance and intergovernmental agreement.

O’Fallon’s adoption of the amendment would be the final action needed prior to the certified documents being submitted to the State of Illinois for approval and certification.

While the Enterprise Zone amendment would grant authority for the tax abatements, the abatements would not actually take effect until each local taxing body, such as the schools, SWIC, township, and so forth, approves a separate resolution allowing the abatement of its own taxes. These separate taxing body resolutions are the next step in this process.

The amendment is the new provision that authorizes the City to abate its portion of municipal taxes in the enterprise zone area, and it also allows any other taxing district, by resolution, to abate its portion of taxes.

The zone area subject to this amendment is the area bounded on the north by East Highway 50, including Commerce Drive, on the west by Ill. 158, on the south by Interstate-64, and on the east by Silver Creek. This area is either currently in the city limits or is planned to eventually be annexed into the city.

BND Assigning News Editor Todd Eschman has won numerous state and regional awards for his columns, feature stories and news reporting. He was born and raised in Belleville, attended SIU-Carbondale, and is a member of the BBWAA, SABR and St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame.