The message after decades of state tests? We’re commendable

A cigar lounge coming to 18237 Kedzie Avenue in Homewood had a Class 8 tax incentive approved by the village board at its August 13 meeting.
Homewood trustees approved a recommendation Tuesday that the property at 18237 Kedzie Ave. receive class 8 tax relief. The owner intends to open a cigar lounge. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)
  Homewood trustees approved
  a recommendation to provide
  Class 8 tax relief to a business 
  owner who intends to open a
  cigar lounge.
  (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

Jason Sayre, the lounge’s owner, expects to invest $120,000 in improvements to the building, including upgrading the utilities and interior renovations, according to village documents. Those necessary improvements qualify as special circumstances required to waive the usual 24-month vacancy requirement for Class 8 incentive approval.

Under a Cook County Class 8 tax incentive, commercial property is assessed at 10 percent of market value for 10 years, 15 percent for the 11th year and 20 percent for the 12th year. The board has the option to renew.
Towns use the Class 8 to help motivate business to locate in Cook County, as opposed to the collar counties or in Indiana where property taxes rates are significantly lower. 
Sayre estimates his property taxes without an incentive would be almost $31,000 per year. With the Class 8, that number falls to just over $12,000. 
Other items approved at the meeting include a formal request for the Illinois Department of Transportation to designate Western Avenue/Sterling Avenue from 183rd street to Flossmoor Road a federal aid urban route. The request is made through the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association. 
A federal aid urban route is eligible for grants to cover up to 80 percent of the cost of street repairs and resurfacing. Flossmoor is expected to approve a similar resolution at its next meeting. The road spans both towns. 
A pair of Chevy Tahoe SUVs will be purchased from Currie Motors in Frankfort for a cost of just under $73,000. The vehicles will replace two 2014 Ford Explorers which are approaching 90,000 miles and the end of their 5-year warranties. 
Public Works will be getting four new lawn mowers, as well. The $38,309 purchase was approved for three 61-inch Wright Stander X and one 72-inch Wright Stander ZK from Shorewood Home and Auto. 

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