The curtain on Forest Park’s initial tax increment financing (TIF) district is starting to close.

On Dec. 1, the village made the final payment on the $5,765,000 bond issued to finance the TIF, which was created in 1993 to help finance construction of the Walmart at 1300 Desplaines Ave. The TIF itself will expire following collection of 2016 tax revenue next year. The 15-year bond was issued in 2002.

The TIF was established in September 1993 but the village did not start collecting tax revenue for the district until the following year. The TIF district originally encompassed the entire Forest Park Mall Plaza but was separated into just the Walmart property in 2002 when the Roosevelt/Hannah TIF was established. 

TIF is a tool that Illinois lawmakers gave local governments in 1977 to help them restore their most run-down areas or jumpstart economically sluggish parts of town. With this tool, financially strapped local governments can make the improvements they need, such as new roads or new sewers, and provide incentives to attract businesses or help existing businesses expand, without tapping into general funds or raising taxes. 

Village Administrator Tim Gillian said tax revenue for the TIF will continue to accumulate until the TIF expires, at which time the funds will become available for use in the planned Roosevelt Road improvements.