District 150 discusses TIF dollars at city council meeting

By WEEK Producer

June 11, 2013 Updated Jun 12, 2013 at 9:58 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- District 150 officials say they are fighting for their financial lives.

That's because, they say the proposed Downtown Conservation TIF district could cost them nearly $47 million over the life of the agreement.

School board Vice President Rick Cloyd says he would like to see the district get a small percentage of tax funds, as in previous agreements.

Cloyd says reducing taxes in the TIF district means cutting dollars which would have gone to the school district.

He says losing that money for 23 years would be detrimental to education, especially when state funding has been cut by $17 million.

"Everyday District 150 educates, feeds, transports, coaches and mentors 14,000 children, who themselves represents 12 percent of Peoria's population, 71 percent of these children are from families in poverty. Let's work together so the community doesn't have to wait until 2036 for us to do what's right by these kids," said Cloyd.

The council has 90 days to act on the TIF district.

Cloyd hopes members use that time to work together to find a better approach.

The city is hoping to encourage redevelopment along the riverfront to reduce blight. Some of the area in the land use plan may be where Caterpillar could build its new corporate campus.