City leaders debating incentives for proposed development

Property taxes will stay the same for the Old Apple Tree Inn property in Murphysboro, Illinois.

Monday night the city leaders unanimously approved to designate the area as a TIF district and freeze the property tax for 20 years. The vote came after a request by a developer who plans to build a 65-room hotel on the property.

Murphysboro, Illinois, leaders are debating approving a tax increment financing district with a multi-million dollar development hanging in the balance.

If approved, the special tax increment financing, or TIF, district would freeze property taxes for the old Apple Tree Inn property at the intersection of Route 149 and Route 13 on the city’s east side.

Growing up next door, Murphysboro Alderman Russell Brown has fond memories of the old Apple Tree Inn.

"I remember years ago we used to have family reunions, and we would rent 15 or 20 rooms," said Brown.  "It was nice then."

Once an asset to the city, Mayor Will Stephens says the Apple Tree Inn has become an eyesore.

Because of its prime location between Route 127 and Route 13, he hopes it could once again open doors to the city.

"What we’re hoping for is a 65-room brand name hotel," said Stephens.

"It’s the start of something new for us," said Brown.

A developer recently purchased the building and 31 surrounding acres.

Before he breaks ground, he wants a TIF district to freeze property taxes for 20 years.

"It turns into extra revenue because, when people stay there and put their head on a pillow there, they’re going to shop in your stores, eat in your restaurants," said Stephens. "Those are the things every community hopes to see happen."

With the possibility of a joining restaurant, store front, and gas station, city leaders hope for a new face and future for their community.

If the TIF district is successful, Murphysboro leaders say they will offer incentives to more prospective developers to try and bring more jobs into their city.

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