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Tax incentive renewal delayed for Homewood property

The Homewood village board tabled the renewal of a tax incentive for a local business at its Jan. 22 meeting. A Class 8 tax designation for a Shell gas station and strip mall at the intersection of Ridge Road and Halsted Street stalled after Trustee Jay Heiferman said it was a chance for the village to ask for more from the owner.
 

The Homewood village board tabled the renewal of a tax incentive for a local business at its Jan. 22 meeting.
 
A Class 8 tax designation for a Shell gas station and strip mall at the intersection of Ridge Road and Halsted Street stalled after Trustee Jay Heiferman said it was a chance for the village to ask for more from the owner.
 
“I think it’s a good opportunity for us, during these renewals, to use it as a method (for) properties that may fall into disrepair or violate the original appearance proposals that they made to the village. I think this is the opportunity to make things better,” Heiferman said. “I think that we should delay this and figure out whatever tool or whatever letter, whatever it is that we can tie property improvements to the renewal.”
 
Heiferman cited lights out on the property, landscaping issues and bent median protectors between gas pumps as things that could be improved.
 
“It’s just things like that that probably never get addressed unless we have a tool to force it,” Heiferman said.
 
In Cook County, a Class 8 tax incentive allows real estate to be assessed at 10 percent of market value for the first 10 years, 15 percent the 11th year and 20 percent in the 12th year. It can be renewed after the 10th year with the municipal government’s approval.
 
The incentive aims to make Cook County — especially the South Suburbs — more attractive to businesses competing with locations in collar counties or in Indiana where property taxes are significantly lower.
 
The original incentive for the property at 17945 Halsted Street was approved in 2007. If renewed, it would be extended another 10 years. 
Mayor Richard Hofeld said the village could reach out to property owners, listed as Zainab Inc. on village documents. But he told the board he didn’t see a need to delay the renewal.
 
When Hofeld asked for a motion to approve it, none of the five board members in attendance did so. Trustee Lisa Purcell was absent. 
 

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