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Showing posts from November 11, 2009

CITY CLERK DEBUT'S NEW TIF PROPERTY SEARCH

WHY EVERY CHICAGO PROPERTY OWNER OUGHT TO CHECK IT OUT

Those property tax bills every Cook County owner received over the last week or two? Did you notice how they have that very detailed table that shows you "who gets what" from your tax dollars? Pretty detailed, right?

Well maybe not so much, if your property is in one of the City's Tax Increment Financing districts (TIFs). TIFs cover nearly one third of the City now. TIF districts divert money from the regular property tax stream to help "combat blight" in those areas.

For years, there has been no public accountability or accounting of its use. Property tax bills do not show any amount of directed being directed to the TIFs (nothing). In reality, TIFs fund a budget nearly 1/6 as big as the "official" city budget. Some quirk in the law or other allows them to hide the numbers from us.

A stunning Chicago Reader expose on TIF financing here. Among the many revelations - City funds will be used to refurbi…