Alternative tax on Joliet truck facilities under review

A request for a special use permit for truck parking on Mount Road was pulled from the Joliet City Council agenda this week as an attorney for the developer looks into the legality of the proposed tax.

“I’m still skeptical that this is a legal method that Joliet can employ with this particular situation,” said attorney Michael Hansen.

The alternative tax, called PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes), has not yet been used in Joliet.

PILOT programs have been used elsewhere to collect revenues from nonprofit operations like hospitals that do not pay property taxes but depend on city services.

City staff proposed it be used on trucking facilities that have low property tax assessments so the city can collect money for road maintenance.

“We need to study the PILOT proposal,” Hansen said. “We’re the very first one it would apply to.”

Staff recommended that the special use permit sought for the Mound Road facility come with a condition that the developer negotiate a PILOT agreement.

Plans for the 24-acre site at 2951 Mound Road include 352 parking spaces.

Parking facilities and terminals have low property taxes because of the light development on the sites. A parking facility may have no buildings on it. The PILOT is aimed at collecting the same amount of taxes on those sites that would be generated if warehouses were built there.

According to an analysis by city staff, truck parking facilities pay an average of $638 per acre in property taxes. Terminals pay $1,089 an acre, and warehouses pay $2,045 an acre.

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