Carterville school district sues Cambria over TIF district - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Carterville school district sues Cambria over TIF district

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CARTERVILLE -- The Carterville School District has followed through on it's threat to sue Cambria over the village's controversial TIF district.

The Carterville School District has long opposed the creation of Cambria's TIF district and now the school board has sued Cambria, claiming the village hasn't proven properties within the district qualify as either blighted or old.

The lawsuit also accuses Cambria of misleading the public about development in the village. Cambria leaders say developers have no desire to build new homes and apartments without tax incentives but school district leaders call that a lie, citing plenty of recent development without incentives.

Cambria Mayor Steve Gottschalk couldn't speak on camera Tuesday due to a family matter but he told us last week he feels the TIF district can survive any legal challenges.

"We wanted to offer them a percentage of our TIF revenues," Gottschalk said Nov. 9. "They rejected our offer so it just appears that this is more than just a money issue for the school district."

That offer included 15 percent of the new tax revenue generated within the TIF district plus another 10 percent of the new tax revenue generated from certain properties owned by A & M Rentals.

The school district rejected it because it brings in less money than agreements the board has with Crainville and Carterville TIFs. That means the two sides have no agreement in place for schools to receive any money from an increase in property values over the next 23 years.

The school district wants a judge to issue an injunction against Cambria, stopping establishment of the TIF. Both sides will face a judge for a review hearing Dec. 18.

In addition to this lawsuit, a spokeswoman with the Illinois Attorney General's office said it is reviewing two complaints regarding possible Open Meetings Act violations by Cambria.

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