Bellwood’s Oldest TIF District Expires 

The Ferrara Candy warehouse at 2300 Maywood Drive, the site of the National Terminals TIF district, which the village board has allowed to expire. | Google Earth 

Wednesday, January 14, 2023 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

The oldest Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district in Bellwood is no more after the village board voted last month to allow it to expire without extending its lifespan. 

The National Terminals TIF district covers 2300 Maywood Drive in Bellwood, the site of a warehouse occupied by candy manufacturer Ferrara Candy. 

In the 1990s, the area was owned by National Terminals Corp., which once was leasing the property to Handy Andy Home Improvement Centers, Inc., court documents show. 

The village created the TIF district in 1997, by which point the National Terminal facility had been vacant for some time. The TIF was created to spur economic development in the area, which is bounded on the north by Maywood Drive, on the east by the Bellwood village limits, on the south by single-family residential development and on the west by an adjacent facility.

TIF districts have a lifespan of 23 years. Municipalities can elect to terminate them early or extend them for another 12 years after they expire. During the TIF district’s lifespan, the initial taxable value of the property located in the TIF is “frozen” in place.

“Taxing districts within the TIF have access to only the ‘frozen’ value when their tax rates are calculated,” according to a TIF primer produced by the Cook County Clerk’s office.

“If there is any increase in EAV within the TIF, the Clerk will then calculate that value growth or ‘increment,’ that occurs in a TIF each year. That increment is multiplied by the composite tax rate of all the taxing districts in the TIF to establish the amount of incremental revenue to be directed to the TIF.”

Municipalities can then use that incremental revenue to pay for various activities designed to improve the area within the TIF, typically designated as blighted and lacking sufficient economic activity.

The funds can be spent on activities like building rehabilitation, property demolition, site preparation, utilities and road improvements and environmental cleanup.

The Bellwood village board voted unanimously at a regular meeting on Dec. 21 to allow the TIF district to expire. The oldest of the village’s nine TIF districts, National Terminals had taken in a total of at least $2.3 million in revenue by 2020, Cook County TIF records show. 

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