How About a Universal TIF District?

From Woodstock’s Susan Handelsman:

Universal TIF District:

If a municipality chooses to incorporate a TIF District there is little recourse under Illinois law to stop it.

As Steve Willson’s seminal FOIA of a preeminent TIF consulting firm indicates (49 of 49 clients were deemed to meet the criteria for blight),

ANY district in Illinois may be considered ‘blighted’ for TIF legal description purposes.

Citizens or taxing districts who protest blight criteria must seek judicial relief, and that is expensive and difficult to obtain.


Certainly, a TIF District damages all taxpayers by raising property tax rates…but what if the recipients of TIF were not political-insider developers, but homeowner/taxpayers??!!

Illinois school funding formulae reward taxing districts with low taxable EAV (this includes the wealthiest areas of Chicago/Cook County) by paying more State funding to affected school districts.

If EVERY home and property were within a TIF District, that inequitable distribution of State funding would be obviated.

It is the distribution of TIF increment financing to politically-connected insiders which makes TIF such a destructive societal influence…

So WHY does the distribution need to be made that way?

Suppose a Universal TIF were created here in McHenry County.

ALL TIF increment tax proceeds for 23-35 years forward would be remitted, pro rata, to the taxpayers who paid said funds.

Those taxpayers would then use the TIF in ways permitted under Illinois TIF laws to improve their own properties…

And those are quite generalized…< And any objectors would need to seek expensive and difficult-to-obtain judicial relief. Homeowners would pay taxes on 2017 assessments (even though 23-35 years of inflation may drive up home values). >Schools and  other taxing bodies would be forced to rein in spending over the next 23-35 years. That is, without changing Illinois PTELL and Fund Cap laws, or seeking referendum permission.

And who is going to complain?

Mayor of Chicago?

He is the King of TIF Treasury dispensation authority–and  compensatory favors-in-return ledger entries.


Maybe they should have complained before about politically connected TIFs which drove our State and County to be double-or triple-national average property tax rates.

TIF works for those who profit from TIF

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.


How About a Universal TIF District? — 2 Comments

  1. Since TIF money should be used to improve blighted areas, could we use TIF dollars to contribute to the campaigns of candidates that wish to run against crooked politicos?

  2. The point here is, TIF needs a “bagholder”

    For TIF to work, there needs to be somebody NOT in TIF to PAY for TIF… thqt is, somebody left holding the bag.

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