After years of being the victims of a financial shell game, Illinoisans are now realizing TIF isn’t the boon that was promised. TIF uses tax dollars to pick winners and losers. Ultimately, the biggest winners are connected developers and the biggest losers are school children.
House Bill 5230, filed Feb. 15 by state Rep. Will Davis, D-East Hazel Crest, would curb the misuse of TIF by more strictly defining “blight.” Cities across the state have used loopholes to install TIFs in areas that don’t pass the smell test for blight. The most egregious example is the LaSalle-Central TIF located in the heart of downtown Chicago, which brought in nearly $41 million in revenue in 2016.
Under this new law, in order to qualify as a TIF district, the area must be at 100 percent of area median income. In other words, this would require that the median income as reported by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development be higher than the median income of the proposed TIF.
Additionally, this law would prohibit the transferring of funds from one TIF district to another, a practice commonly referred to as “porting.” Currently, TIF districts that share a border can shift funds from one district to another in order to benefit developers.
The change would be effective for all new TIF districts after Jan. 1, 2019.
Sign the petition today to tell your lawmaker to curb TIF abuses.