CHILLICOTHE, Ill. (WMBD) – After more than two decades, a resource that has helped spur growth and revitalized downtown Chillicothe is set to expire.

Kay Davis, the owner of Dream Illustrations Tattoos, has held a presence in downtown Chillicothe for 25 years, during that time she’s seen the landscape of the area change.

“It just refashions itself over and over,” Davis said.

Davis said streets once occupied by grocery stores and meat markets are now home to stores for handmade items, and other unique businesses.

“I’m glad it’s continuing to grow and not sitting vacant, because a lot of towns are sitting vacant,” Davis said.

A big driver for downtown Chillicothe’s redevelopment is funds generated by Tax Increment Financing (TIF).

“Without the TIF there would absolutely not be the development that we see right now,” said Amanda Beadles, economic development director for the City of Chillicothe.

TIF districts provide revenue created by increases in property taxes to improve areas that may have not had the opportunity otherwise.

“We got TIF money to put down new doors and new windows,” Davis said.

Beadles said the funds have made downtown Chillicothe better for residents, businesses, and visitors. “80 percent of our business comes from out of town,” she said.

After 23 years, Chillicothe’s TIF District is coming to an end. The decision comes after the city’s taxing bodies didn’t unanimously agree to extend it for another four years.

Beadles said preparation time to extend the TIF is one factor.

“It was too much too soon,” Beadles said.

Although the TIF district is expiring, she doesn’t expect the momentum downtown has seen to stop.

“When we can already see what’s possible, we’ll just keep moving forward and doing the best we can,” Beadles said.

The IVC School District values our continued cooperative relationship with the city of Chillicothe.  We are proud of the work that the city has done over the years with the TIF funds that they have received from the taxing bodies that support it.  We are excited that the TIF has worked as it was intended, and look forward to the city of Chillicothe as well as all the taxing bodies benefiting from the increased property values that have resulted since the TIF was established in 1989.

– Michel Labeda, IVC 321 Board  of Education-President

Other taxing bodies in Chillicothe include the Chillicothe Park District, Chillicothe Public Library District, and the city.