Sun-Times Weighs in on TIF Districts

In its Monday editorial, the Chicago Sun-Times took on Tax Increment Financing districts.

The commentary was so similar to my own. I’ll share some with you.

You may remember it was Mayor Aaron Shepley and his city council’s proposal to turn Vulcan Lakes and the Route 14 business strip into a TIF district that led to my starting McHenry County Blog.

Here’s my second article about the interrogation of the Crystal Lake TIF consultant by the Crystal Lake Park Board.

So, what did the editorial say?

“As you might suspect, the mayor thinks the TIF program is wonderful. He insists TIFs don’t result in higher property taxes for homeowners, although, of course, they do.”

Now, remember, the Sun-Times is talking about Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, but it could be writing about Crystal Lake’s mayor.

After a flyer encouraging people to attend the city council hearing on the TIF districts was distributed by Jim Young, Mayor Shepley was adamant that the TIFs would not cause a tax increase. See

The Sun-Times asks where folks think schools and other tax districts will get more money if they can’t get it from rising assessments.

“They raise their tax rates, and they get it, in part, from you,
dear homeowner.

“As you might also expect, if you’d like to learn more about the nitty gritty of how TIF money is spent, and what kind of protections are in place to ensure taxpayers get a good return on their hard-earned property tax dollars—well, those details are not particularly easy to come by.”

The details of the just concluded Downtown TIF are not on the newly revised city web site, for instance.


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