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SPRINGFIELD — Normal is one step away from officially extending its ability to offer property tax incentives for uptown development.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's signature is the only missing piece after the General Assembly on Thursday passed legislation prolonging the uptown tax increment financing district (TIF), which lets officials use property tax gains there for development incentives and infrastructure rather than send the added revenue to taxing bodies like schools.

Town officials have said an extension of the TIF end date from 2026 to 2038 is necessary to negotiate incentives for a few planned developments north of Uptown Circle that otherwise won't happen. They've promised to exclude every other development in that area from the TIF's impact, bringing more money to taxing bodies.

Local taxing bodies unanimously backed the proposal, a symbolic gesture that might have helped it clear the Legislature, though some local officials raised concerns about the funding they'll lose.

“This is a situation where the town and the affected taxing bodies have come to an agreement to extend the TIF, so we are making sure the General Assembly respects the decisions made by our local governments,” said state Sen. Jason Barickman, a Bloomington Republican, in a statement. “It’s important that we enable our local governments to make the kinds of decisions that will help determine the future of their communities.”

State Rep. Dan Brady, a Bloomington Republican, said in a statement that passing the proposal means "the final hours of the spring legislative session in Springfield yielded some very good news for the town of Normal."

"Town leaders in Normal have stressed how important this extension will be for continued economic development plans in the community," said Brady. "I am very pleased that Sen. Barickman and I received strong bipartisan and bicameral support for the future growth and development of Normal.”

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Contact Derek Beigh at (309) 820-3234. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_beigh


Normal and McLean County Reporter

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