Local area project may affect taxpayers

By Branda Mitchell

Property taxes may increase in the Carbondale area due to the new property being constructed where 710 Bookstore was once located.

Business owners are aware of the issue and already foresee it driving people out of the area. Rick Reeves, owner of Shawnee Trails Wilderness Outfitters, said the property tax is already an issue.

“The problem Carbondale’s facing is we already have some of the highest property taxes in the area,” he said. “It’s what drove me to live in Carterville, in Williamson County.”


The city approved a tax increment financing, or TIF, agreements with the developers in March, which allows them to redevelop their property while being reimbursed for some costs associated with the renovation.

Any money the property generates in increased taxes due to increased value is set aside in an account to reimburse the developer, while the city keeps 25 percent.

Acting Mayor Don Monty said the development is going to boost the local economy.

“It’s going to bring more people into the downtown area,” Monty said. “Commercial space is going to generate money and jobs.”

Monty said bringing in more commercial businesses brings the potential of gentrification, although it is usually not seen in this type of area.

“Gentrification usually happens in a residential area,” Monty said. “In a commercial sense, perhaps some of the marginally profitable businesses would want to look at other areas to move.”

Each project individually negotiates its TIF with the city council. The developers of the new building at 710 S. Illinois Avenue have requested about $1 million, which is reimbursed to them and the excess property tax collected goes to the other areas funded by the city, such as schools.


“Other bodies in the short term don’t get any increment until we finish paying the developer,” Monty said. “I have seen some projects take 10 years to be reimbursed and others take 23 years.”

Branda Mitchell can be reached at [email protected]