Homewood board supports tax incentive to reopen vacant gas station

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Homewood board supports tax incentive to reopen vacant gas station

September 17, 2021 - 21:34

The vacant gas station at the corner of Harwood Avenue and 183rd Street in Homewood has a new owner who hopes to reopen under a new brand. Village trustees on Sept. 14 agreed to support a renewal of a Class 8 property tax abatement for the site, pending approval by Cook County. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

The Homewood village board passed a resolution supporting the renewal of a Class 8 tax incentive for the former Homewood Gas station at 2138 183rd St.

Excel Investments, LLC recently purchased the currently vacant building and plans to invest approximately $900,000 for a tank replacement and remodeling of the gas station to re-occupy the site.

The Class 8 designation on the property was given by Cook County in 2009 and is reaching the end of its 11th year. Extending Class 8 will allow the property owner to save over $70,000.

The Class 8 tax incentive is a 12-year Cook County program designed to encourage industrial and commercial development in areas experiencing economic stagnation. It allows real estate to be assessed at 10% of market value for the first 10 years, 15% the 11th year and 20% in the 12th year.

In a village document, an attorney from the Sandrick Law Firm representing the property owner notes “the outlook on property taxes without the Class 8 are a major concern for my client.”

“As you know, while this intersection (Harwood and 183rd Street) is busy, the property taxes here in the South Suburbs make it difficult to be economically sustainable,” the attorney wrote to the village board. “This location is no different. It’s the Class 8 tax incentive that allows our client to make a major reinvestment.”

He estimated with the incentive in place the property taxes will be $53,230 a year. Without it, the taxes would be $133,074.

In a document describing what the impact of the incentive will be, Angela Mesaros, Homewood director of economic and community development, said the approval of the incentive “will help bring the tax burden more in line with competition in neighboring counties where the property tax rate is as much as 45% less.”