An overwhelming majority of readers who responded to the unscientific Patch poll published a week ago about the think the property’s owners should pay for the entire project without help from the taxpayers.
Deerbrook owners Gateway Fairview have asked the Village Board of Trustees to on goods purchased there to help defray part of the $26 million cost of redevelopment.
If the Village goes along with this proposal as well as a sales tax sharing agreement, the owners will recoup approximately $16 million of the $26 million project cost if the redevelopment is successful. .
Of the 250 people who responded to the poll, 228 believe the Gateway Fairview should shoulder the economic responsibility and have no opportunity to recover some of their investment through increased tax revenue or sales tax sharing while 22 like the idea.
One reader, Steve Shifrin, does not believe taxpayers should help a for profit business in any way. He sees little difference between Deerbrook and the Chicago Cubs request to get help from the City of Chicago to help renovate Wrigley Field.
“Since when should taxpayers fund a for profit private property,” Shifrin writes? “Sounds like Deerfield is trying to emulate the Chicago Cubs in their attempt to get the taxpayers to rebuild Wrigley Field.”
Another reader, Jan del Greco, thinks adding to the existing sales tax, even for one shopping center, will drive customers away. “Let the developers find their own financing,” she writes. “Interest rates are low. This is one of the dumbest ideas in Deerfield yet, and there have been some doozies.”
Yet another reader, Harry Steindler, not only dislikes the proposal, but wants new people to step forward in Deerfield and run for office whether for the Village Board or one of the school boards.
“No doubt the proposal makes no sense,” Steindler writes. “This does speak to the need for a new generation to step up and actually participate in our locally elected offices. It's time for the next generation of Deerfield leaders to emerge—the lack of involvement from our younger residents needs to shift—we need people involved who have a long term stake in our future.”