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After 40 Days, Niles OKs Tax Break For Biz

At the Dec. 11 meeting, many trustees did not know if granting the 6B tax break would make Niles' residents taxes rise, so they tabled it, to the chagrin of some. After research, they learned it was a win-win and OK'd it Tuesday.

 

Niles trustees cleared up a rift Tuesday that dated from their Dec. 11 meeting and caused some to accuse them of being anti-business.

The board voted 5-0 to approve a tax break for an existing Niles company called Gustafson Group LLC. Gustafson, which owns a printing operation that already employs 131 people in Niles, sought the tax break as part of a deal to buy and renovate a dilapidated Niles building that had been vacant since January 2008.

The tax break, called a Cook County 6B Development Incentive, is designed to entice businesses to develop abandoned or long-vacant property.

Earlier: Give Company a Tax Break? Niles Board Split

At the December board meeting, Trustee Chris Hanusiak expressed concern that lowering taxes for Gustafson might cause taxes to rise for Niles residents and other businesses. Trustees voted 4-1 at that time to table the issue until more could be learned; that move caused Mayor Robert Callero, Trustee Andrew Przybylo and residents Harry Achino and Norbert Johnson to protest, saying the board should have acted to help Gustafson, a family-owned business looking to expand in Niles.

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At a Jan. 8 "Informal Consideration" meeting, in which the Niles board meets to discuss issues but holds off from voting until official board meetings, the village's finance director, Scot Neukirch, explained that granting 6Bs typically do not hurt other taxpayers, nor do they hurt taxing bodies. The reason is that owners of vacant properties pay very little in property taxes; they would pay more under a 6B, generating more revenue for the village, the schools and other taxing bodies. 

Neukirch gave the example of a $1.675 million market value commercial property, which pays a property tax bill of $84,317 when it is occupied.  

However, if it went vacant it would pay only $22,594.  With a 6B, it would pay $33,000 in property taxes, he said-- $11,000 more than if it were vacant.

"Taxing bodies typically do not lose any revenue due to the issuance of a 6B," Neukirch said. 

That set the stage for a quick and easy approval of 6B status for the Gustafson Group at Tuesday's meeting.

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Pam DeFiglio January 24, 2013 at 10:01 PM
And yes, I agree with you that transparency is important. So are the three tenets we aim for in journalism: fairness, accuracy and balance.
Joseph LoVerde January 24, 2013 at 10:56 PM
Pam here is the correct information. As a Village Trustee I get $2,500.00 period. I serve as Chairman on three Committees; Finance, Storm Water and Police Station elevator project. We all put in a tremendous of hours and I get no additional $600.00 as stated in your comments. Everyone of us serves in a capacity that our experience saves the village money. We don't do this for the money, we do it because we care about our citizens and our community. Thank you, Trustee Joe LoVerde
Pam DeFiglio January 24, 2013 at 11:13 PM
Thanks Joe! That was the information I got from Cathy Spadoni at village hall. It does look like being a trustee takes many hours and a lot of work.
HARRY ACHINO January 25, 2013 at 02:27 AM
Thanks Joe, Thank God you will be involved with the village over the next few years. You are one of the few people on the board, that is qualified to be there. Preston, Hanusiack, Hynes and a Palicki have wasted all of our time and certainly the taxpayers money. The ethics committee is a joke. In a heated conversation between myself and trustee Hynes, he mentioned, and I quote," I don't care if I get reelected or not". There were plenty of witnesses including the mayor and the press. My question to trustee Hynes is how much money as that spent on outside attorneys fees and how many cases have been adjudicated. I have always appreciated the hard work put in by our trustee's, Mayor and village employees but four of the trustees are completely ruining our village. As you well know, your hard work and dedication have always been appreciated by the people who count. The meat and potatoes people, the hard-working people, who have made this village what it is. With a few minor changes in April, we can get going in the right direction, and the sky's the limit. Thanks again for all your hard work.
Joseph LoVerde January 25, 2013 at 10:10 PM
Pam I stand corrected and apologize. The Finance Department informed me that five (5) Trustees get a stipends of $50.00 per month in addition to our $2500.00 for a total compensation of $3,100.00. Trustee Preston gets an additional $600.00 annualy for a total compensation of $3,700.00. Hopefully this entire issue is now reported correctly and over. Sorry for the first comment. Sincerely, Trustee Joe LoVerde

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