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posted: 2/12/2016 5:37 AM

Libertyville tax rebate means boost to Cook library

Extended Libertyville financing district yields $2.36 million reimbursement for taxing bodies

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  • Libertyville will rebate $2.36 million to various taxing bodies. The Cook Park Library will use its rebate to relocate the young adult area to the basement and replace it with a sitting area.

    Libertyville will rebate $2.36 million to various taxing bodies. The Cook Park Library will use its rebate to relocate the young adult area to the basement and replace it with a sitting area.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • A tax rebate from the village of Libertyville will allow for new shelving and other improvements at the Cook Park Library in Libertyville.

    A tax rebate from the village of Libertyville will allow for new shelving and other improvements at the Cook Park Library in Libertyville.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 

The entities collecting property taxes from Libertyville residents will receive payouts totaling $2.36 million from the village, but what the cash will be used for is a mixed bag.

The money comes as part of an agreement that allowed the village to extend the life of its downtown special financing district in exchange for rebating 70 percent of property taxes collected there.

Payouts in this fifth annual distribution range from an estimated $16,173 for the Central Lake County Joint Action Water Agency to $890,549 for Libertyville Elementary District 70.

Most of the 10 taxing bodies will use the windfall for general purposes or to pay down debt, but Cook Memorial Public Library District is targeting specific projects.

"We like to make a splash," library director David Archer said. "It's a fun opportunity do some things that will directly benefit the public."

Last year, the library board approved a three-year strategic plan focused on enhancements to collections, services and facilities. In the current budget year, the library plans to use the rebate for projects associated with the plan, including new display shelving, improvements to digital studio offerings and enhanced spaces for teens, Archer said.

District 70 will use the money to pay debt associated with roof repairs, install energy-efficient lighting at Butterfield and Highland middle schools and repair and pave school parking lots.

In Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District 128, the rebate will be used to improve wireless access and add security-related enhancements throughout the district, according to Yasmine Dada, assistant superintendent for business.

The tax increment financing district was designated in 1986 to revitalize the downtown area. Instead of ending after 23 years, the district will remain in place until 2021 under the extension deal.

The extra time allows the village to finish its to-do list of projects to be funded by tax increment financing. That includes a second parking deck planned for construction this year. Much higher than expected bids prompted the village board to revise the plan and rebid the project.

In a TIF district, property values are frozen for taxing purposes and the entities receive nothing in new taxes. However, as improvements are made, the added value is taxed and that amount (the increment) put in a special fund for various projects and expenses.

@dhmickzawislak