Chicago Bears receive new property tax proposal to build stadium on Arlington Heights race track

Diane Pathieu Image
Tuesday, March 19, 2024
Arlington Heights offers new stadium tax compromise to Chicago Bears
The Arlington Heights' Village manager said that the Bears are still interested in the race track, but don't agree on the cost of property taxes.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (WLS) -- Arlington Heights is trying to lure the Chicago Bears into building a stadium in the north suburb with a new property tax proposal.

Two years ago the Chicago Bears purchased the site of the former Arlington Park Racetrack as a possible stadium location.

However, last week, the Bears announced interest in building a new stadium on the lakefront, committing $2 billion toward a publicly owned domed stadium.

RELATED | Chicago Bears moving forward with plan for new domed stadium on lakefront

Where does that leave the village of Arlington Heights?

During a board meeting on Monday, Arlington Heights' Village manager said the football team is still interested in the property, but there are disagreements over property taxes that the team would pay for the racetrack site.

"It's clear that the issue of where the stadium project will ultimately go is far from resolved," Arlington Heights' Village Manager Randall Recklaus said. "While those discussions are happening, the village knows the Arlington Park property is special and unique among sites in the entire region, as supported by the team's purchase of the property."

Another issue, fair property taxes for the former Arlington Park site, between school districts 214, 211, and 15, Churchill Downs, and the Chicago Bears.

Arlington Heights has been in discussions with all parties to a conclusion.

Recklaus pointed out that they want to make sure all taxpayers are paying a fair amount in taxes, and they will only support a development concept that increases tax revenues for Arlington Heights.

So, they proposed another settlement - the Bears would pay close to $10 million in property taxes for the 2023, 2024 tax years, and annual increases of three to 10% the following years based on market conditions.

"We believe this proposal is fair and sensible, but the village cannot impose this solution unilaterally, the Bears and the districts will need to agree," Recklaus said. "The village of Arlington Heights remains committed to bringing about a good outcome for this community and all other stakeholders."

There has been no formal response to the latest proposal from the parties involved, Recklaus said.