TIF Questions

Watch this six minute video from Cook County Clerk David Orr.

We’re keeping track of all the questions we get asked about TIFs from the workshops and TIF Town Meetings we attend.

  • How much of the $1.7 billion in TIFs is encumbered and what is the definition of “encumbered” or “committed”
  • What % of TIF funds over the years have gone to public projects
  • In a “free market” why do we give private companies public dollars
  • Is the TIF program another example of crony capitalism
  • How does the Small Business Improvement Fund (SPIF) work
  • What other plans for economic development exist for the city
  • How much TIF $ is ported, who decides this
  • Why do TIFs last for 23 years
  • How are TIF boundaries drawn
  • How do you apply for TIF funds
  • What are the criteria for awarding TIF funds
  • On what schedule are TIF funds doled out to recipients
  • Who decides if a TIF is created
  • When does public get notice – is it too late
  • Where is the definitive list of all projects funded by TIFs
  • Where is the money kept, what bank and at what interest
  • How are bonds and loans made, what bank, what fees
  • Who does the feasibility studies, annual bookkeeping for TIFs – what fees paid
  • What are the legal requirements for TIF establishment, reporting
  • Who does the reporting and audits, how much are they paid
  • What the penalties for NOT following the law
  • What does law say about public involvement, notice, participation and review
  • Since TIF extractions are NOT shown on your property tax bill, can we sue for fraud
  • What aldermen allow citizen review, what has been their record
  • Who are the public reps on the Joint Review Boards
  • What happens when a TIF is cancelled, how funds allocated
  • Are there conflicts of interest where TIF $ recipients give contributions to Aldermen
  • Can a mayor tap TIF funds at will
  • Where are the early records of TIF activity from 1986-1999
  • Define “private investment” and “public investment”
  • How do TIFs get used to build schools
  • Are all TIF-related expenses reported below $10,ooo exempt
  • How to track and document porting activities
  • Who is on the Community Development Commission
  • Can you sue a TIF, what is the legal theory, has suit proceeded elsewhere
  • What is national picture, state-by-state – # of TIFs, totals
  • What are best practices in other cities, states
  • Can we re-brand TIFs to be “Chicago Corporate Welfare”
  • How do we add accountability to this program
  • Are there OTHER ways of doing local economic development
  • Is there any relationship between TIFs and the Chicago Insfrastructure Trust
  • How many TIFs have been cancelled, voided
  • How do we get around the abuse of “blight” criteria
  • Do DePaul students, staff, teachers, alumni support/oppose TIF $ for their new stadium
  • What entity will oversee the DePaul stadium project
  • How is “Fund Balance” determined? What specific encumerbances are on this money
  • How do other cities create, administer, evaluate TIFs
  • Why are my property taxes always rising – how are TIFs connected to tax rates
  • Why is Wal-Mart getting money from a TIF
  • Can citizens demand to participate in TIF decision making, allocations
  • Can we determine how much money is being cut from our schools, on a school-by-school basis
  • What is current definition of “affordable housing”
  • How are renters affected by TIFs
  • How can we determine if there are conflicts of interest between Aldermen and TIF recipients
  • How can we take this information to the streets

If YOU have a TIF question, please use this form to let us know and we’ll add it to the list. Together, we can answer ALL these questions!

 

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