Yesterday, CivicSource shared information regarding the recent launch of Chicago’s online TIF portal. However, in order to engage with the portal to its full potential, it’s important to have a working knowledge of TIFs—or, tax increment financing. It’s also important to understand TIFs as a program and tool particularly because of their relation to us as taxpayers so that we can better engage with the process and keep a watchful eye on local implementation and success.
Essentially, TIFs are a public finance strategy used by many cities to aid economic development in specific areas. Cook County Clerk David Orr has put together an informational video on TIFs to better educate the public on how TIF districts are created, how the money is generated, and some common criticisms expressed regarding the tool. Watch the video, and also visit the Cook County Clerk website for easy-to-use tools that give more detailed and personalized information about TIFs in your area.