TIF Town Meetings







The TIF Illumination Project is investigating and explaining the impacts (money out, money in) on a ward-by-ward basis in Chicago. In 2013 (the latest year we have data for)  there were 151 TIF districts and they extracted $412 million in property taxes from the property owners of Chicago.

People all over the city are stepping to organize TIF Town Meetings in their areas. We are doing this a ward-by-ward basis. If you would like to become a TIF Illuminator or donate time or funds to this all volunteer effort, please donate here and use the contact form below to reach us.


“You have my profound thanks for all of your work on this project; some Alderman have served decades in the City Council managing to perform far less public service than you have in spearheading this project.” – From an organizer of the 49th Ward Illumination. [Thanks, it's a team effort!]






TIF 101 Video from Tom Tresser on Vimeo.

We will be re-imagining these presentations so if you are interested in booking an Illumination for your ward, email us or use the form at the bottom of this page.


* 48th Ward TIF Illumination, June 18, 2014 at Emanuel Congregation.

* 4th Ward TIF Illumination at the Hyde Park Art Center, May 29, 2014. 55 minute audio file (first an overview of TIFs, then details on the TIFs of the 4th Ward).

*DePaul Stadium Forum at DePaul Student Activity Center, October 3. Students organized this forum and asked for an Illumination of the 17 TIFs in the 2nd Ward.

The TIFs of the 2nd Ward from Thomas Tresser

*Lakeside Development CBA Summit – The Alliance of the SouthEast called a town meeting to discuss how to influence the massive planned development for the site of the U.S. Steel plant on September 7.


The TIFs of Lakeside from Thomas Tresser

* 39th Ward TIFs & School Budget Town Meeting – August 27 – Details @ http://tinyurl.com/TIF-Forum-Aug-27. Read coverage in Progress Illinois.

The TIFs of The 39th Ward from Thomas Tresser

* TIF Town Meeting in Oak Park, August 25 – Details @ http://tinyurl.com/TIF-Forum-Aug-25.

* August 21, 2013 – The good folks of MoveOn Chicago came by The CivicLab to learn about TIFs.

TIFs of the 27th Ward from Thomas Tresser

* August 8, 2013 – The 33rd Ward & Albany Park – Details @ http://tinyurl.com/TIF-Forum-Aug-8.


Aldermen Deb Mell and Ray Colon attended the meeting. After community members testified to the devastating impacts of the announced school cuts the Aldermen were asked to sign a giant check made out the public schools, drawn on the city’s TIF account. They both pledged to return TIF funds to the schools and signed!




The TIFs of The 33rd Ward from Thomas Tresser

*August 7, 2013 – The TIFs of Little Village. A presentation made to the leadership of Latinos Progresando.

The TIFs of Little Village from Thomas Tresser


* August 6, 2013 – The 19th Ward – Details @ http://tinyurl.com/TIF-Forum-Aug-6. Read coverage from Progress Illinois.

The TIFs of The 19th Ward from Thomas Tresser

 *July 18, 2013 – Logan Square. Details @ http://tinyurl.com/TIF-meeting-7-18. They are continuing to meet.

The TIFs of Logan square from Thomas Tresser


* July 1, 2013 – Rogers Park (49th Ward) – Details @ http://tinyurl.com/TIF-Present-7-1.

Here is the presentation – the audio is 55 minutes long. Over 100 people packed the meeting space at Loyola Park!

Someone in the audience posted a series of short YouTube videos capturing most of the presentation.


TIFs in the 49th Ward from Thomas Tresser

* June 11, 2013 – West Rogers Park (50th Ward) – Details @ http://tinyurl.com/TIF-Forum-June-11. Download a flier. Coverage from Progress Illinois.


Here is the presentation. The audio is 45 minutes long.

The TIFs of the 50th Ward from Thomas Tresser

* June 5, 2013 – Bridgeport & McKinley Park (11th & 12th Wards) – Details @ http://tinyurl.com/TIF-Forum-June-5. The audio is 59 minutes long. We promise that it is entertaining! Read coverage from Progress Illinois and DNAinfo Chicago.

The TIFs of the 11th & 12th Wards from Thomas Tresser

* May 13, 2013 – Hyde Park (4th Ward) – Details @ http://tinyurl.com/TIF-Forum-May-13 [download flier] Read coverage from Progress Illinois.







Here is the 4th Ward presentation. The audio is 58 minutes.

The TIFs Of The 4th Ward from Thomas Tresser

* May 4, 2013 – Englewood Neighborhood TIF – Details @ http://tinyurl.com/TIF-Forum-May-4
[download flier]. Here is the presentation on the Englewood Neighborhood TIF.

The Englewood Neighborhood TIF from Thomas Tresser

*April 20, 2013 – Talking TIFs Part 2 – Details @ http://tinyurl.com/TIF-Forum-April-20 [download flier]

* April 11, 2013 – Uptown Community (46th Ward) – Details @ http://tinyurl.com/TIF-Forum-April-11
[download a flier]
Here is the presentation on the six TIFs inside the 46th ward. The audio track is 51 minutes.

TIFs in the 46th Ward from Thomas Tresser

* April 6, 2013 – Avalon & Roseland Communities (8th, 9th Wards) – Details @ http://tinyurl.com/TIF-Forum-April-6  [download flier]

It was a two-for-one special at CSU when we exposed the 14 TIFs inside the 8th and 9th Wards.

Here is the presentation on the 14 TIFs inside the 8th and 9th wards. The audio track is 47 minutes long.

TIFs in the 8th and 9th Wards from Thomas Tresser

* March 30, 2013 – South Shore (7th Ward) – Details @ http://tinyurl.com/TIF-Forum-March-30  [download flier]

Here is the presentation on the five active TIFs inside the 7th Ward:

TIFs in the 7th Ward from Thomas Tresser

Here is the presentation on TIFs and social justice made by Eric Téllez, an organizer with The Grassroots Collaborative.

Grassroots Collaborative TIF Presentation from Thomas Tresser

* March 16, 2013 – Washington Park (20th Ward) – Details @ http://tinyurl.com/TIF-Forum-March-16.
* Read the coverage of this meeting from Progress Illinois.

Here is the presentation by Washington Park forum organizer Donna Smith and TIF Illuminator Tom Tresser (audio is 56 minutes):


TIFs in the 20th Ward from Thomas Tresser
* March 9, 2013 – Englewood (6th Ward) – Details @ http://tinyurl.com/TIF-Forum-March-9 . Below is the presentation made by Tom Tresser (66 minutes with audio):

TIFs in the 6th Ward from Thomas Tresser








February 12, 2013 - TIF Town Meeting @ The Chopin Theatre

The Tax Integrity and Fairness Alliance held a TIF Town Meeting at The Chopin Theater on February 12, 2013. Over 220 people attended! Here is the media coverage and Tom Tresser’s presentation materials on the results of the research into the 12 TIFs inside the 27th Ward.

Thanks to the great folks at Chicago Public Access, CAN-TV, watch this video of the three presenters plus the Q&A session (1 hour, 22 minutes).

TIFs In The 27th Ward from Thomas Tresser

If you would like to Illuminate the TIFs inside your ward or municipality? Call The TIF Illumination Project at 773-770-5714.

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