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TIF revenue in Cook County dropped for the fourth straight year

Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Chicago Sun-Times
by ART GOLAB

Revenues for Cook County’s controversial Tax Increment Financing districts dropped for a fourth year in 2011, with the city of Chicago alone taking in $56 million less than the previous year, Cook County Clerk David Orr announced Wednesday.


The decline could affect bond payments and payments to developers tied to revenue from TIF districts, Orr said.

In seven districts, including the downtown LaSalle Central district, TIF revenue declined to zero.

That could affect the development of a 45-story office tower announced for the corner of Lake and Canal. Mayor Rahm Emanuel had promised nearly $30 million in TIF funds towards the project.

The previous year, LaSalle Central produced received $12.5 million in tax revenue.

Tax Increment Financing is a controversial tool that cities can use to generate revenue for development in a specific area. It allows a city to take all “new” property tax revenue for the area for up to 23 years, during which time schools, parks and other taxing bodies do not get any of the new tax revenue.

Despite the decline in TIF revenues, the city still took in nearly $454 million in 2011.



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