TIF Abuse

The proposed Tax Increment Financing District is in the upper left hand corner of the map.

The proposed Tax Increment Financing District is in the upper left hand corner of the map.

In Saturday’s Chicago Sun-Times is an article about Chicago Alderman Bob Fioretti’s mayoral campaign.

Will this be called TIFhedge years from now?

Four $16,000 monuments mark the boundaries of Crystal Lake Virginia Street TIF District. Will this be called TIFhedge years from now?

It says he wants to use $25 million in Tax Increment Financing money

“to bankroll a summer jobs program and using everything else that’s not committed to specific projects or debt to convert at least some of the 50 schools closed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel into ‘community centers that drive economic development.”

That gives you some idea of the latitude that municipal officials think they can use TIF money for.

TIF money was even called “Monopoly money” by a Huntley Village Trustee in the discussion of whether to use it to bury utility lines in an alley next to the Square.

The Crystal Lake City Council had about a million dollars left over after doing everything anyone could imagine.

Instead of giving it back to taxpayers, the Council voted to bury utility lines on East Crystal Lake Avenue.

The properties included in the Virginia Street TIF District.

The properties included in the Virginia Street TIF District.

And, who can forget the $64,000 spent on pillars built on the edges of the Virginia Street Tax Increment Financing District?


Comments

TIF Abuse — 2 Comments

  1. Here are the addresses at which the four gateway monuments are installed to demark the beginning and the end of the Virginia Street Corridor TIF.

    Monument 1: Fifth Third Bank, 265 West Virginia Street, Crystal Lake, IL
    Monument 2: Pizza Hut, 282 West Virginia Street, Crystal Lake, IL
    Monument 3: 96 Virginia Street, Crystal Lake, IL
    Monument 4: 86 S Virginia Street, Crystal Lake, IL

    Virginia Street is also known as US Route 14.

    The Virginia Street Corridor TIF was created July 19, 2005 and generally consists of 77 parcels along Virginia Street.

    Instead of monuments, benches and bicycle racks would have been a more practical use of the money.

    The advice of store owners in the TIF District was probably not sought out as to what they thought of spending $64,000 ($16,000 x 4) on stone monuments with a village plaque.

    So money diverted from school districts, park districts, libraries, community college, fire districts, etc. was used to build gateway monuments to increase EAV, which increases tax revenue.

    So your property tax money was spent to increase the amount of property tax money the government can generate from you.

    Your property is a source of revenue for the government.

    Do the gateway monuments increase equalized assessed value (EAV)?

    There is another TIF on Virginia Street, this one at Main and Virginia Street.

  2. There are categories of outrage possible:

    Outrage that a single dollar of taxpayer money has been spent frivolously, or not accorded the respect deserved by what it represented: significant portions of taxpayer household budget…
    and,

    Outrage that the takers of the money are benefitting so much from the misery they are causing those paying for such frivolous expenditures–rage at the hypocrisy of rulers claiming compassion for taxpayers.

    Rage at a system which deliberately complicates the simple formula of tifs: taking from the many, funneling that money through the controlling hands of a few municipal rulers without oversight as to how they distribute that money, and benefitting a very few developers who can essentially eliminate all downside risk while capturing all upside profit for themselves.

    Rage at a system which pits neighbor against neighbor within a County–as illustrated by Lakewood tif arranging that all subsidies enabling the profits from their tif must be paid by taxpayers living in a school District outside Lakewood.

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