The Consolidated High School District 230 School Board approved at a Special Board meeting Wednesday night an intergovernmental agreement with the Village of Orland Park, Orland Fire Protection District, Orland Park Public Library, School District 135 and Von Maur, Inc. regarding the vacant Carson Pirie Scott and Company property at the Orland Square Mall.
In considering the request brought forward by the Village of Orland Park, the District 230 School Board took into account that Orland Square Mall is an economic engine for Orland Park, as well as the surrounding region.
“The mall’s success has a symbiotic relationship with the surrounding region, said Superintendent Dr. James M. Gay. “Orland Square Mall’s commercial property values reduce the burden placed on residential taxpayers. The stronger the commercial tax base, the lower the tax rate residential taxpayers have to shoulder.”
“We also consider that fact that when the mall is successful, it can result in new property development by attracting workers to the area who then need housing, services and the like,” Gay said. “The mall’s success also attracts increased customers who then drive growth of restaurants and other businesses in the region. This new property growth is the only source of additional revenue above inflation that the property tax formula affords the school district.”
The Intergovernmental Agreement calls for the abatement of 50% of the taxes for that property. The abatement is a better alternative to taxes from the property dropping to just 10% should it remain vacant and the assessed value decline dramatically. There is a maximum capacity on the amount of the abatement of $8.5 million. The Village is responsible for $4.5 million of that incentive and the remainder is spread among the other four taxing bodies. The District 230 portion would be around $170,000 per year or a total of approximately $2 million. Should Von Maur reach the cap prior to the end of the 10-year term of the agreement, the agreement will expire and the tax abatement will cease.
“Collectively the governing bodies have taken collaborative action to ensure the viability of this commercial property and the continued success of Orland Square Mall,” said School Board President Richard J. Nogal. “We also are assuring that the tax burden does not shift to our residential taxpayers. This is an investment in our entire region and community.”