TIF Illumination Project

August 27, 2013 Update

Six months after the first TIF Town Meeting neighbors from all over the city have organized their own TIF meetings – or, Illuminations, as we call them! We’ve done 26 Wards and exposed 153 TIFs!

Wards_Illuminated

The wards outlined in red all received their own TIF Illumination meeting. The wards in blue were covered in two meetings – The Northwest cluster around Logan Square was done in one meeting, and the Central west cluster around Little Village was covered at another.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

View this update presentation given to a group of TIF Town Meeting organizers on August 24, 2013.

TIF Illumination Project Update from Thomas Tresser

February 28, 2013 Update

WE ARE OFF AND RUNNING. WE COLLABORATED WITH THE TAX INTEGRITY AND FAIRNESS ALLIANCE TO PRODUCE A TIF TOWN MEETING ON FEBRUARY 12, 2013 AT THE CHOPIN THEATRE!

TIF_panel+names

Over 220 people packed the space to listen to local finance expert Professor Richard Dye, CivicLab co-founder Tom Tresser and award-winning political reporter Ben Joravsky talk TIFs. See the media coverage and Tom’s presentation materials on our research of the 12 TIFs inside the 27th Ward here.

Read all about the meeting here.

There are TIF Illuminators now working in 12 Wards in Chicago and four suburban townships to investigate and illuminate what TIFs are doing in their communities! TIF Town Meetings are being organized for Englewood, Washington Park,  South Shore and Bridgeport!

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WHAT IS A TIF?

TIF stands for Tax Increment Finance. It’s a BIG deal – In 2011 a total of $729 million in property taxes were extracted by TIFs across all of Cook County. $454 million was taken in city property taxes and $275 million in suburban property taxes.

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

Watch this creative and fast moving seven minute video produced by WBEZ’s “Curious City” Project.

When a TIF district – say, this one, is created then the value of
The value of ALL the properties inside the district is assessed or calculated and the total amount of property tax generated by all those properties is noted – let’s call that number the BASE AMOUNT OF PROPERTY TAX REVENUES. The life span of a TIF district is 23 years. For the next 23 years all property revenue ABOVE this BASE AMOUNT is captured by the TIF district. This amount – the amount over the BASE is called the INCREMENTAL REVENUE. The process looks something like this:


The important thing to note is that the city and county are fueled by property taxes. Just about every thing we do or use in the city – police, fire protection, the public schools, public transit, the public libraries, our parks and the basic operations of the city and county – these are all powered by our property taxes. If you rent, then a portion of your rent will eventually make it into that pool, as the owner of the property you rent must pay property taxes. In Chicago some twelve agencies depend on property taxes to operate:

Here is another look at who relies on our property taxes for their operation:


So if TIF districts take property taxes “off the top” – how does this affect all those agencies that rely on property taxes for their operation?

HOW MANY TIFs ARE THERE?

In 2011 there were 443 TIF districts in Cook County – 163 in the city of Chicago and 280 in the suburbs. They diverted ed a total of $729 million in county property taxes. $454 million was taken in city property taxes and $275 million in suburban property taxes.

Almost 30% of Chicago is in a TIF District!

Are YOUR property taxes being diverted?

WHO GETS ALL THIS PROPERTY TAX MONEY?

Here are some of the companies that have received property tax subsidies or other benefits from the TIF program in Chicago:

Surprise! These companies got YOUR tax dollars.

And there is:

  • Hyatt Hotel Hyde Park -$5,200,000 [Download the development plan - Harper_Court-Hyatt_CDC]
  • K-Mart -$3,700,000
  • Quaker Oats -$13,000,000
  • Union Station Health Club -$3,200,000
  • Block 37 developers -$12,000,000
  • Chicago Symphony -$2,500,000
  • Sears -$13,700,000
  • United Airlines -$32,000,000
  • Rush Medical Center -$75,000,000
  • Loyola University -$20,400,000
  • Sara Lee -$5,000,000
  • Wrigley -$15,000,000
  • Home Depot -$8,000,000
  • Keebler – $2,000,000
  • Jewel/Osco – $9,600,000
  • Target -$9,900,000
  • UPS – $11,300,000
  • Wilson Yard developer -$54,200,000
  • Grossinger Auto – $8,500,000

IT’S A STATEWIDE ISSUE

Across the state of Illinois some 445 municipalities have spawned 1,220 TIFs. According to the Illinois State Comptroller’s Office, 530 of these TIFs – or FULLY 43.4% – are out of compliance and had not filed their required annual reports or other paperwork at the time the last state report was issued (9/14/12).[ Download the report here: 2010-State_TIFNonComplianceReport]

IT’S A NATIONAL ISSUE

TIFs are in every state except two, Arizona and Wyoming.

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Here is a short video that explains the basics of the Tax Increment Program.

Here is a presentation on the basics of TIFs in Chicago prepared by Tom Tresser:

The TIF Report Project From The CivicLab from Thomas Tresser
Here’s a humorous take on TIFs that was created by then journalism student Adam Verwymeren for the Medill News Service.

 

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