Cook County Tax Raise Funding Districts Generate $ 1.5 Billion in Revenue in 2020, New Report Says

Cook County Tax Raise Funding District sites will generate nearly $ 1.5 billion in revenue for the 2020 tax year, even as 14 of those districts were wiped out, a new report says .

The Cook County Real Estate and Tax Service report, released Thursday, detailed how TIF revenue increased 11.6% countywide from the previous fiscal year. The county has 443 TIF districts, although more than $ 1 billion in this year’s TIF revenue comes from 132 Chicago districts.

In Cook County, the first payment of 2020 taxes was due on March 2, 2021; the second, on October 1, 2021.

Funding through tax increases is a way for local communities to stimulate economic growth in disaster areas. The property tax collections in a TIF district are frozen at a certain level; taxes collected above this amount can be used for specific projects. However, this also means that other tax districts, such as schools, do not benefit from the additional property taxes collected.

“The proceeds from the TIF districts can be of great benefit to the development of the respective TIF districts and communities, but it can be a mixed bag for taxpayers,” Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough said.

Yarborough added that many Cook County taxpayers do not know they live in a TIF district, nor do they realize the effects these districts have on the distribution of tax revenues.

“We encourage Cook County residents to arm themselves with information about their local TIF districts, so that they are not surprised when they see these deductions on their tax bills,” said Yarbrough.

An office building under construction in August 2020 at Fulton Market. City officials have used projects funded by additional taxes to encourage development in the former meat-packing district.
Pat Nabong / Sun-Times

About two-thirds of TIF’s revenue was generated in Chicago, and more than half of that billion dollars was generated by just 10 districts, most of them near downtown, said Tanya Anthofer, head of the department of extension of city taxes.

Of Chicago’s 10 top-grossing TIFs, each generated more than $ 20 million this year, including two, the LaSalle / TIF Center and CTA’s red and purple modernization TIF, which grossed more than $ 100 million.

Anthofer said that with equalized valued values ​​continuing to rise, TIF’s revenue will also increase in the years to come.

Chicago's top-grossing TIFs <a class=account for more than half of the billion TIF revenue generated by the city’s 132 districts.” data-upload-width=”2400″ src=”×1673/1200×0/filters:focal(0x0:2400×1673):no_upscale()/”/>

Chicago’s top-grossing TIFs account for more than half of the billion TIF revenue generated by the city’s 132 districts.
Cook County

Chicago TIF revenues accounted for 38% of the city’s total taxes collected for the 2020 tax year. And in Cook County, TIFs represent 9.1% of the $ 16.1 billion in taxes. land paid to residents of Cook County last year.

“Every year we present this report, it’s a real eye-opener when I look at the amount of money that has gone into these TIFs,” said Yarbrough.

While 13 new TIF districts were added in the Cook County suburb, 14 more were removed, including four in Chicago. In the previous tax year, income from these expired TIFs ranged from $ 19 million in the River Road district in Rosemont to $ 300,000 in the 60th Sreet / Western Avenue district in Chicago.

After a TIF is withdrawn, the remaining funds are returned to the Cook County Treasurer, who distributes them proportionately to all tax districts affected by the TIF.

Anthofer said it was important for taxpayers to ask their local government questions about special districts.

“Some good questions that taxpayers can ask their municipality are: ‘What is the purpose of this TIF? How does this benefit me, as a taxpayer, and how long will this TIF last? ”, Said Anthofer. “These are questions I think committed taxpayers should be asking themselves. “

Michael J. Birnbaum

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