California retrieves TIF funds for “education”

Faced with fiscal strains similar to ours, California legislators observed that TIF funds weren’t particularly well-used, and are taking them to fund government schools.  Since Illinois TIFs are authorized by the State it seems that the State could control or limit them, and divert the funds to some more effective use (not necessarily the schools).

Of course, if this reform got serious support, I suppose the TIF authorities would promptly find it necessary to sign long-term contracts with connected developers or consultants, to be paid out of anticipated cash flows, so it might take quite a while to have any effect.  And anything beyond the next election is too far away to see.

Easier TIF qualification

Now you don’t need to even pretend that your TIF area is dilapidated. Just propose a STAR Line station within a half mile, get the Board to approve, and you can divert tax dollars pretty much for whatever you want. Thanks to ILAPA’s Sharon Caddigan for the alert.  Of course, an openly-administered TIF process might be appropriate for development near any transit station, provided that the funds raised are used to actually provide service at the station.