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DeKalb County rules in combined favor of tax incentives to entice confectioner to commit

DeKALB – All of the necessary taxing bodies have unanimously ruled that, should a Fortune 500 international confectioner decide to put down roots in DeKalb, the company will have 50% of its property taxes abated for 15 years from 10 different taxing bodies.

DeKalb Mayor Jerry Smith spoke during Thursday’s DeKalb Park District board meeting, calling it “the last stop on the tour,” of soliciting support for the intergovernmental agreement over the last few weeks.

“I’m proud to say that we’ve had tremendous support,” Smiths said, crediting DeKalb City Manager Bill Nicklas’ efforts. “Bill has done all the heavy lifting on this. On behalf of the city council, myself, I want to thank you for giving us the opportunity to speak on what is going to be, if it comes to fruition, a tremendous opportunity for all of us here in DeKalb County.”

The district’s Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the intergovernmental agreement. On Wednesday, the DeKalb County Forest Preserve and the DeKalb Library District also approved the measure. On Tuesday, DeKalb District 428 school board also approved it. Nicklas has spent the past few weeks soliciting support for the agreement from 10 different taxing bodies. As of Tuesday, seven have voted yes, including the City of DeKalb, DeKalb County, Kishwaukee College, DeKalb Township, DeKalb Township Road District, District 428 and Kishwaukee Water Reclamation District.

“We’re happy with our negotiation in respect to job creation,” Nicklas said Thursday. “The company has been very forthcoming in talking about what it expects to do in terms of job creation.”

Nicklas said the company plans to put forward $125 to $130 million in their own capital investments on the site if they choose DeKalb over a similar-sized city in Wisconsin.

Nicklas has said it’s unlikely the company will solidify a commitment before the end of 2019, as they await potential state aid to fund portions of road improvements on Gurler Road to accommodate what’s expected to be an increase in truck traffic due to the manufacturing and distribution center that could set up shop in the 343-acre land known as the ChicagoWest Business Center.

The city officials thanked the park board after the vote, which was echoed by commissioners.

“Thank you for all your hard work,” said Commissioner Dean Holliday. “Let’s hope it pays off.”

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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