Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  

Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine


  Office phone numbers:  

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.


Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

  The Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange trade 60% of the world futures contracts.

Cook County tax bills will now include percentage going to TIFs

Friday, June 20, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times
by Brian Slodysko

Next month, for the first time ever, Cook County property owners will be able to look at their newly arrived tax bills and see just how much of their tax payment is diverted into controversial Tax Increment Financing districts.

The change — which will affect the roughly 12 percent of Cook County property owners who live in TIF districts — adds “transparency” to an area of municipal financing that has been opaque to the public, Cook County Clerk David Orr said Thursday when announcing the change.

By including the information on tax bills, the hope is that more governments will make TIF spending decisions “in an open format and not behind the closed door of the community development board,” said Bill Vaselopulos, Orr’s Director of Real Estate and Tax Services.

Brought to Chicago roughly three decades ago as an obscure funding tool for North Loop development, TIF districts have multiplied across the city and county. They are typically created to raise cash for special projects and improving blighted areas.

When a TIF district is created, the amount of money governments collect through property taxes in the district is capped, based on locked-in property value. Any additional property taxes collected above that amount — due to rising property values or new development, for example — is diverted to a TIF fund.

And while TIF districts have been credited with revitalizing rundown neighborhoods, critics have blasted them as slush funds for elected officials that rob schools and parks of adequate funding.

Indeed, Orr’s office showed a sample bill for a parcel of property in the 43rd Street and Cottage Grove TIF district. The accompanying breakdown showed that 83 percent of the property tax bill went to the TIF district.

Tom Tresser, organizer of the TIF Illumination Project, predicted the new information could foment taxpayer backlash.

“I am predicting a fireball of questions and protests as people look at their (TIF) bills for the first time,” Tresser said. “We have been told we are broke, but the TIFs extract property tax and send it into the hands of private developer with no rhyme or reason.”

On Thursday, Orr’s office also announced property tax rates that will be applied to biannual tax bills, which are due Aug. 1. Property owners in Chicago will likely see increases ranging from 0.5 percent to 1.5 percent, Vaselopulos said. Property owners in suburban Cook County will likely see an average increase of about 2 percent, he said.

The sheer number of governmental bodies in the suburbs makes it hard to generalize about why rates are going up suburban Cook County, Orr’s office said. But in Chicago, the increase is largely driven by small increases in the levies for Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Park District.

Recent Headlines

Illinois Land Title Association Granted Summary Judgment in Case against Cook County Recorder of Deeds
Sunday, March 17, 2019
Illinois State Bar Association

Grand Jury Indicts Debt Collector of Bribing Cook County Clerk Dorothy Brown
Friday, March 15, 2019
WBBM Chicago

Indictment: Cook County's hired debt collector charged with bribing county officials to secure county contract
Friday, March 15, 2019
Cook County record

Karen Chavers Honored as 2019 Unsung Heroine
Thursday, March 14, 2019
Special to

Pappas to announce deadline for Cook County property owners to pay late taxes
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Courts Cause Confusion For Woman Trying To Resolve Her Case
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
CBS Chicago

Census changes raise fears of Illinois undercounting
Monday, March 11, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Sheriff Warns of Apple Phone Scam
Monday, March 11, 2019

Caller poses as Apple to get victims personal info in scam targeting Cook County residents
Monday, March 11, 2019
WGN Chicago

Should Young Adults Be Sent To Juvenile Courts?
Sunday, March 10, 2019
NPR Radio

Cook County Jail hires 2nd consecutive mental health professional as warden
Wednesday, March 06, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Lawsuit: Sheriff jailed dozens because of faulty electronic monitoring devices
Monday, March 04, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Woman dies while in custody at Cook County Jail
Sunday, March 03, 2019
Fox 32

City considers landmarking old Cook County Hospital
Friday, March 01, 2019
Gazette Chicago

Judge: State constitution doesn't force Cook County to spend $250M more on roads, transport projects
Thursday, February 28, 2019
Cook County Rrecord

City Club of Chicago: Cook County Housing Authority Executive Director Richard Monocchio
Thursday, February 28, 2019
WGN Chicago

Illinois hospitals seek reform of Medicaid managed care system
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Effingham Daily News

Cook County Juvenile Court Clinic’s Annual Report
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Special to

Glenview open house a 'one stop service' for new, existing residents to learn about town offerings
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Glenview Announcements

Here's how much more south suburban homeowners pay in taxes
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.