Digital Access

Digital Access
Access from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, Daily including the e-Edition or e-Edition only.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, prep sports scores, school closings, weather, and more. Text alerts are a free service from, but text rates may apply.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Sign up for free e-newsletters today.

Mayor staying neutral on strike, not on TIF

But Burke takes stand on TIF

DIXON – Mayor Jim Burke is not taking a stand in the teacher strike.

“I’m not knowledgeable on everything that has gone on or the school board’s financial position,” Burke said Thursday.

But he wanted to respond to one of the teacher union’s complaints to the school board.

In the days leading up to the strike, the union asked the school district why it agreed to relinquish to the city some of its property tax revenue to pay for downtown improvements.

A couple of years ago, the school board and other taxing bodies reached a deal to extend the life of the downtown tax increment financing district by a dozen years.

When a TIF district is created, a base value of the property within its borders is calculated, and for up to 23 years – sometimes extended to 35 – local taxing bodies such as schools collect taxes only at that base level.

According to the teachers union, the city will give up more than $1 million in potential tax revenue “that could have been used for educating students.”

Burke said the school board and other taxing bodies were right to extend the TIF district, saying downtown improvements ultimately benefit the entire town. When people look at moving to a town, he said, one of the things they look at is the downtown.

“The school district is not an island unto itself,” the mayor said. “The schools have a real stake in the city of Dixon. One of our goals is to grow the population of the city of Dixon. Population growth will bring more enrollment and state aid to the schools.”


See video highlights from teacher interviews Thursday on the picket lines. Also check for updates today @DatelineDixon on Twitter.

We've put together a comprehensive resource page to help readers follow and track the negotiations.Click here to visit.

Loading more