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Summit Hill officials take closer look at Tinley Park tax abatement request

Summit Hill School District 161 Board of Education reviewed a tax abatement request from a prospective business from the Village of Tinley Park at its Aug. 9 meeting.

“A month-and-a-half ago to two months, we were approached by Mr. Patrick Hoban, the economic development director for the Village of Tinley,” said Doug Wiley, director of business and transportation. “He was reaching out because there was a tax abatement request they had received from a company called Surface Shields to relocate their headquarters, I believe, to Tinley Park.

“So, he reached out to us because tax abatement would affect our tax collection, essentially.”

Surface Shields intends to invest more than $600,000 in machinery and equipment, and $100,000 into the 101,085-square-foot warehouse at 8451 W. 183rd Place. Surface Shields is a leading company focused on the manufacturing and distribution of surface protection products, including paper and film.

This matter requires the action of both Summit Hill School District 161 and Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210 to grant the request.

Surface Shields is currently seeking a four-year, 50 percent property tax abatement for the site in question. They intend to use the added space to bring in new machines and set up new equipment lines.

Caleb Nerstad, an operations manager at Surface Shields, said Surface Shield currently does a lot of work across Will and Cook counties.

Surface Shields wants to relocate 55 employees from its Orland Park warehouse to Tinley Park. In doing so, the company could add up to 35 jobs within 36 months.

Hoban said what the Village has found is the overlapping taxing districts will see the benefit in the long run.

Nerstad agreed and said this is a very big move for Surface Shields , as it will benefit their company in the long term.

“Right now, we’re just really constrained by space in Orland Park, and this move would open up more than triple our warehouse’s space,” Nerstad said. “It’s our corporate headquarters.

“We’ll have our corporate offices. We’re going to have manufacturing continue in this location, and also have like a warehouse system, as well.”

Board President Rich Marron questioned why the school district would agree to approve the request.

Hoban explained because of a drop in assessed property tax values, constituents would pay less money to the district.

Marron challenged Hoban and said the district would not lose money because of the way the levy works.

If Surface Shields was looking to expand the facility, for example, Summit Hill benefits on the backend from the boost in the equalized assessed valuation of properties.

Marron recognized the positives to approving tax abatement requests and said although he does not want vacant properties in Tinley Park, he struggled to see the benefit to the school district.

“A majority of our residents are outside of Tinley Park, and that’s where we struggle with this,” he said.

Nerstad said while the company’s prospects of relocating their operations to Indiana sound favorable, they do not wish to move out of state. Other locations in consideration include sites in Alsip and Munster, Ind.

“It’s an opportunity to get [Surface Shields] in there,” Hoban said of the Tinley Park site.

Summit Hill board members are to review the Village of Tinley Park’s tax abatement request at their next meeting set for Wednesday, Aug. 23.

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