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TIF Revenue Down 2 Percent in Suburban Cook Co.

Thursday, July 17, 2014
Palatine Patch
by Amie Schaenzer

In an ongoing effort to bring more TIF transparency, the Cook County Clerk released a new online TIF mapping application called “TIF Viewer.” This new tool comes shortly after taxpayers received tax bills with TIF information for the first time.

Submitted by Cook County Clerk David Orr

Cook County Clerk David Orr on Wednesday unveiled an online, interactive TIF mapping tool as he released the 2013 TIF Report, which details the $683 million in revenue collected by 435 active TIFs in Cook County.

Both Chicago and suburban Cook County TIF districts experienced revenue declines, 7.65 percent and 2 percent respectively.

“TIF revenues declined in 2013, but there is still nearly $700 million collected by TIFs countywide, which taxpayers, for the most part, do not have a detailed, transparent accounting of,” Orr said.

Revenue for the 284 suburban TIF districts decreased by 2 percent in 2013, from $266 million in 2012 to $261 million in 2013.

The single largest factor for the decline in TIF revenue is the expiration or cancellation of TIF districts. Chicago terminated three TIFs (Stockyards – Industrial Corridor, Near West – Madison-Racine, 89th/State), and nine were terminated in the following suburbs: Bridgeview, Calumet Park, Matteson, Northlake, Richton Park, Rolling Meadows, Schaumburg and Wheeling (2).

However, about 200 TIFs countywide experienced revenue decline, including a few with sharp decreases from 2012 to 2013.

For example, Chicago LaSalle Central decreased by $6,289,784, a 31 percent drop. The second largest decline monetarily was Rosemont-1 which decreased by $1,769,584, a 10.5 percent decline. Also in Chicago the Addison South TIF decreased by $716,270, a decline of 29 percent from 2012.

In an ongoing effort to bring more TIF transparency, Orr released a new TIF mapping application called “TIF Viewer.” This new tool comes shortly after taxpayers received tax bills with TIF information for the first time.

“These are but two efforts by my office to bring greater transparency to the TIF process,” Orr said. “So many property owners don’t even know if they are in a TIF District, let alone how much of their property tax bill is going to the TIF.”

The new TIF Viewer, accessible by desktop or mobile device viacookcountyclerk.com, gives visitors a birds-eye view of the county and its TIF districts and allows them to zero in on any TIF district from an intuitive dropdown menu.

Users can:

  • Go down to map-level to select a TIF
  • Zoom to City of Chicago Wards
  • Find a TIF by address or Property Identification Number (PIN)
  • View and export TIF Revenue information for research and analysis
  • Make their own maps with drawing and text tools
  • Links to other County Clerk websites, TIF Information, and the “Understanding TIFs” video

Orr’s website, cookcountyclerk.com, already provides reports, maps and a TIF property search tool that allows taxpayers to see if they are in a TIF and the portion of their bill that was diverted to that TIF fund.

Suburban Cook County

In recent years, the number of TIF districts in suburban Cook County has steadily grown. There are now 284 suburban TIFs in 92 suburban municipalities. That means there is at least one TIF in 69 percent of suburban villages and cities.

“It’s interesting to note,” Orr said, “that as the city of Chicago is lowering the number of TIFs, they have increased in the suburbs. This only shows that the need for real transparency with TIFs is just as strong in suburban Cook County as it is in the city.”

Suburban TIF revenue decreased by 2 percent in 2013, from $266 million in 2012 to $261 million in 2013. Four suburban municipalities collected more than $10 million in total TIF revenue in 2013: Rosemont ($32.8 million), Glenview ($30.7 million), Hoffman Estates ($26.4 million), and Cicero ($11.5 million).

Other suburban Cook County TIF highlights:

  • The largest suburban TIFs are: Glenview-Naval Air Station ($30.7 million); Rosemont-1 ($15.0 million); Rosemont-River Road ($11.5 million); and Cicero-1 ($10.1 million)
  • 100 existing TIFs had revenue increases.
  • 103 TIFs had revenue declines.
  • 78 TIFs did not collect any revenue in 2013.
  • Twelve new TIFs were created in Evanston, Glenview, Hanover Park, Harvey, McCook, Midlothian, Oak Forest, Phoenix, Richton Park, and Rosemont. Of those new TIFs, only three generated revenue in 2013 (see Chart B).
  • Three TIFs were expanded to include new parcels (Bedford Park, Evanston, Lemont), while 12 TIFs were cancelled or had parcels removed (see Chart B).


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