TIFs for Tat: Where Is the Money Going?

TIFs for Tat: Where Is the Money Going?

Finance Report

Inspector General Joseph Ferguson’s draft audit plan for 2020 includes plans to determine whether the city is complying with rules requiring officials to publicly release documents about Chicago’s tax-increment financing districts, which are intended to help spur the redevelopment of blighted areas.

The inspector general also plans to examine whether the city is complying with former Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 2013 executive order declaring that 25% of uncommitted funds in a TIF district be returned to the taxing bodies where they originated. 

Latest figures, released from the Cook County Clerk’s office on July 31, show that TIF revenue increased 27.4% in the City of Chicago from 2017 to 2018, generating $841 million in that time period. The 2018 total is $181 million more than 2017 and is due to two factors: a 12.5% increase in equalized assessed value of all city properties and a $588 million hike in property taxes. The increase in equalized value was part of a 2018 property reassessment; the property tax increase was approved by the City Council in 2015 to support police and fire department pensions and a development boom in city center and on the North Side. These figures were included in the full 2018 TIF Revenue Report. 

Fast TIF Facts

  • TIFs account for 8% of property taxes billed in Cook County.

  • The $841 million in 2018 city TIF funds is approximately 35% of the total amount of property tax revenue collected by the city. This percentage is up from 31% in 2017.

  • TIF districts in Cook County accounted for nearly $1.2 billion for tax year 2018, a 17.4% increase over 2017.

City of Chicago TIFs

The highest-performing TIFs in the City of Chicago are located in or near downtown area. However, the Pilsen TIF on the South Side increased 26%. TIF revenue also increased for the Red/Purple Line Transit Modernization Plan, Phase 1, in Lakeview. The transit modernization plan is the largest area covered by a TIF, and it generated the most revenue for 2018.

The ten highest revenue TIFs in the City of Chicago in 2018 include: 

  1. Transit RPM1: $115,735,214.75 
  2. LaSalle Central: $100,926,569.59 
  3. Kinzie Conservation (Industrial Area): $49,229,212.64 
  4. Near North: $35,716,959.86 
  5. River South: $34,448,113.13
  6. Chicago / Kingsbury: $33,177,660.74 
  7. Canal / Congress: $31,399,421.84 
  8. Central West: $30,425,107.45
  9. River West: $25,761,204.13 
  10. Pilsen: $20,643,537.57 

Each of these TIFs will bring in more than $20 million this year.

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