New Ordinance Seeks TIF Surplus

TIF_Surplus_Ord A new ordinance sponsored by 32 Aldermen was introduced on July 24 that seeks to declare a surplus of un-obligated TIF funds from all TIF districts that had 2012 revenues of over $1 million.

Here are the sponsors:

  • Moreno, Proco Joe (1)
  • Fioretti, Bob (2)
  • Dowell, Pat (3)
  • Burns, William (4)
  • Hairston, Leslie (5)
  • Sawyer, Roderick  (6)
  • Pope, John (10)
  • Balcer, James (11)
  • Quinn, Marty (13)
  • Foulkes, Toni (15)
  • Lane, Lona (18)
  • O’Shea, Matthew (19)
  • Cochran, Willie (20)
  • Munoz, Ricardo (22)
  • Solis, Daniel (25)
  • Graham, Deborah (29)
  • Reboyras, Ariel (30)
  • Waguespack, Scott (32)
  • Mell, Deborah (33)
  • Colon, Rey (35)
  • Sposato, Nicholas (36)
  • Mitts, Emma (37)
  • Cullerton, Timothy (38)
  • O’Connor, Mary (41)
  • Reilly, Brendan (42)
  • Smith, Michele (43)
  • Tunney, Thomas (44)
  • Arena, John (45)
  • Cappleman, James (46)
  • Pawar, Ameya (47)
  • Osterman, Harry (48)
  • Silverstein, Debra L. (50)

Here is the language of the ordinance:

Ordinance Declaring and Distributing a Surplus

Whereas, Tax increment financing (TIF) is a tool intended by Illinois state law to encourage economic development by providing public support to encourage investment in targeted areas that meet certain conditions of blight, decay or underperformance; and

Whereas, Tax increment financing is not an end in itself, but a crucial tool for supporting quality businesses, creating more jobs and building strong neighborhoods; and

Whereas, the Chicago Public School Board and Administration have imposed deep and unsustainable cuts in virtually every neighborhood elementary school and high schools; and

Whereas, the City of Chicago’s neighborhoods are waiting for improvements to basic infrastructure after years waiting through the economic recession; and

Whereas, in light of the current economic circumstances, a short-term infusion of funds back into the schools and neighborhoods will offset drastic cuts, helping achieve the ultimate goal of supporting strong schools and our neighborhoods; and

Whereas, Cook County Clerk David On has released the 2012 TIF projections which shows that Chicago will collect over $457 million in TIF revenue for the 2012 tax year which is an increase in Chicago’s 2012 TIF revenue of almost 1%; and

Whereas, this surplus includes moneys not required, pledged, earmarked, or otherwise designated for payment and securing of the obligations and anticipated redevelopment project costs; and

Whereas, 65 ILCS 5/11-74.4-7 requires that any monies held by a municipality and not required for the payment and securing of obligations of a tax increment financing district and/or redevelopment project costs shall be deemed to be “Surplus Funds”; and

Whereas, residents of the City of Chicago are demanding a full accounting of all TIFs and policies that put residents and businesses in Chicago first;

Therefore, be it ordained, that:

SECTION 1. Recitals. The above recitals are incorporated herein and made a part hereof

SECTION 2. This section shall apply only to City TIF districts with 2012 revenues exceeding $1 million. For such TIF districts, the total revenues that are not already required, pledged for specific projects, earmarked, or otherwise designated for payment of or securing of obligations at the close of this fiscal year shall be calculated.

SECTION 3. As provided by 65 ILCS 5/11-74.4-7, within 180 days after the close of the City’s fiscal year 2012, Surplus Funds shall be distributed to the municipality and returned to the affected taxing districts to pay for necessary services.


According to our analysis of the 2012 TIF Annual Reports, 76 TIFs had revenues of $1 million or greater. These TIFs has $1.5 billion in their accounts on January 1, 2013. Let’s see how much of that is reported as “obligated.”

The remaining 78 TIFs with 2012 revenues of under $1 million had a total fund balance of $190 million. That revenue would not be touched by this ordinance.

Let’s see if reaches the City Council floor for a vote. You can sign this petition to demand that the TIF funds be accounted for and all revenues returned to the units of government that should’ve received those funds in the first place.






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