News - Joliet and Will County

Cullinan apartments in Joliet will produce some tax dollars for schools

TIF formula bases school taxes on number of students not property value

Groundwork continues on the Rock Run Crossings Development near the I-55 and I-80 interchange in Joliet on Tuesday, October 11th.

Schools will get tax dollars from the 570 apartments to be built at Rock Run Crossings in Joliet, although not as much because of a Tax Increment Financing District in place for the development.

Troy School District officials pointing to potential pupils coming out of the Joliet apartments objected to the project without a school funding plan in place before it was approved earlier this month.

The TIF District freezes property taxes going to most local governments for 23 years. Instead, most of the increased property tax revenue that comes for the development is used to pay for infrastructure improvements needed to make the project possible.

But schools and the Joliet Public Library would get limited property tax revenue from the apartments, Joliet Finance Director Kevin Sing said.

“The TIF law states that the school district gets reimbursed for the students coming out of the TIF development based on the school district’s estimate of cost per pupil,” Sing said.

Troy Community Consolidated School District 30-C

For Troy School District, that means the district could get about $450,000 a year if the apartments generate the 39 students a year that is forecast by the city. Troy’s estimated cost per student is $11,733.

There is a cap, however, on how much school districts can get in property taxes from a TIF development.

And Troy Superintendent Paul Schrik voiced concern that the apartments may not produce all the revenue that the school system needs to educate students who live while TIF restrictions are in place.

“What is the level of revenue that we can expect to receive from the city of Joliet and Cullinan Properties to be made whole for those 23 years?” Schrik asked at the Nov. 1 meeting where the City Council approved the project.

Representtives from Cullinan Properties, which is developing Rock Run Crossings at Interstates 55 and 80, said they expect the number of students coming out of the apartments to be fewer than what the city projects.

Cullinan is developing a mixed-use project planned to include stores, restaurants, hotels, offices, warehouses and entertainment venues. Hollywood Casino is moving its Joliet casino to Rock Run Crossings.

Penn Entertainment Inc. announced on Monday that it will relocate the Joliet Hollywood Casino to Rock Run Crossings development near the I-80 and I-55 interchange.

Housing also is part of the plan. But Cullinan Senior Adviser Chris West said such projects done by the developer elsewhere tend to generate about five students per 100 apartments because the housing is marketed for young professionals and empty nesters, not families.

The Rock Run Crossings apartments would also fall into the Minooka Community High School District and within the Joliet Public Library district.

The high school district also would get property taxes based on the number of students coming out of the apartments.

The library would get property taxes capped at $120 per eligible library patron in the apartments.