Negatives of blighting

Blighting the entire village of Juniata is wrong.

At a Feb. 14 public hearing, attorney Mike Bacon said there are no negatives for calling Juniata blighted and substandard.

I read the state statutes, sections 18-2101 to 18-2144, that are known as the Community Development Law. Here are some of the negatives: Tax money on any new construction that would have gone directly to the schools, fire district, etc., will now be diverted into a special fund to be spent by a new, five-member board of appointed — not elected — people. They can hire a director, levy additional taxes and take any of your property.

The village already has spent more money on this venture than it will collect off five new houses in one year, and the legal fees will be added every year.

Mike Bacon had most everyone believing that they were going to get anything they wanted. He said yes to all of their requests, but then added, “if the funds are available.”

It may be two years before there is any TIF money. When the schools, fire district, etc., do get more residents, their costs go up, but any new tax money will be diverted away from them, so everyone’s taxes will go up.

Roseland implemented TIF in 2001, and in 2003 its village tax rate went from 1.96 to 2.09, whereas Kenesaw’s tax rate under TIF went from 1.94 in 2007 to 2.06 in 2009.

This new, five-member (appointed) board will only further divide Juniata over a few pet projects. The Village Board should have given the voters a chance to vote yes or no on this blighting issue, but instead put it in place themselves.

Now, we must remove them from office to turn this around!

Thomas D. Johnson

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