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Batavia city staff addressing special service area concerns

Published: Friday, Sept. 6, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

BATAVIA – After several property owners recently voiced concerns about a special service area being proposed to fund the Batavia MainStreet organization, city staff will try to address those concerns.

City staff met with representatives from Batavia MainStreet as well as several of the property owners to discuss and work out some of the issues that were raised.

A special service area to fund Batavia MainStreet was established in November 2008, but that special service area expires in November. The new special service area would cover the same area as the existing one.

“The original SSA created a situation where property owners overpaid into the tax increment financing district due to the tax ‘increment’ being calculated with the SSA levy added,” Batavia Community Development Director Scott Buening said in a memo to city officials. “This created an unintended surplus into the TIF by approximately $108,000 over the five-year SSA period.”

Buening said the surplus was caused because of the way the County Tax Extension office levies the tax on properties that are both in a TIF District and an SSA per state assessment requirements.

In addressing the concerns, staff suggested a number of changes, including:

• No levy of special service taxes for the first 21/2 years to pay down the TIF “overage” created with the SSA/TIF overlap.

• Payment of the “overage” on a yearly basis rather than a lump sum.

• Property owners in the special service area would submit an annual review evaluating the performance of Batavia MainStreet during the past year.

• Properties used for owner occupied residential use would be eligible for a refund of the property taxes paid.

• The special service area would terminate in five years with no renewal.

Aldermen on Tuesday voted to continue the public hearing on the proposed special service area to the Sept. 16 Batavia City Council meeting to work out final details.

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