Did you know that someone took $454 million in Chicago property taxes from us in 2011?
That “someone” was Chicago’s 163 Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts spread across the city.
A TIF district is a special branch of the city government that is created to spur economic development. The district captures property taxes to give them to private developers for projects that are deemed public benefits. TIF money is also used by the city to make public improvements, such as streetscapes, school construction and other public building work. TIF money can only be used for physical projects, not for hiring teachers, policemen, after-school counselors, park district coaches, librarians or doctors.
TIFs are supposed to create development in so called “blighted” communities.