Thursday, March 3, 2011

What's Going on with the TIF?

If you're like us (and we assume others) you arrived home one day recently, checked your mail and saw a mysterious large envelope with a bunch of papers that appeared to have something to do with a revision to TIF boundaries in the neighborhood.

Actually, we received about four of these envelopes and for some reason one of them was sent through priority mail (why? we have no idea). Throughout all of this mail, the purpose wasn't very clear and we've been meaning to follow-up as to what this might mean. Unfortunately, we haven't gotten to the bottom of this and as a result are relying on someone better versed in the subject to shed some light on these documents and what they might mean for the neighborhood. If you received these papers, PLEASE help explain.

A reader had similar concerns and questions:

Hi Sloopin!
I just got a notice in the mail concerning a "TIF" hearing that was happening for the south loop area. My brief reading about the topic was insufficient to come to any real conclusions about this new development for the neighborhood.

  • First, did everyone in the neighborhood get this notice?

  • Second, I think you would do a fantastic job of discussing this issue and what it means for residents! I'm a bit worried about if this will increase property taxes.

Also, it appears that a neighborhood gets TIF designation if its 'culturally important' or its 'blighted.' Which of these designations would the Sloop fall under? I think the city's designation could have serious ramifications.

The city's website for this topic is:

Much appreciated!

(Hat tip: RP!)


Anonymous said...

A TIF basically uses future tax earnings to develop an area. Once the area is developed, there will be taxable property on the land, and possibly the area around it will increase in value so that will bring in more revenue as well.

You get the letters because whatever the parcel will become after it is designated a TIF probably isn't zoned for that currently (parking lot to residential, e.g.), and to change zoning you need to notify everyone within a certain radius. The priority letter was probably sent so that there is a guarantee that the notice was received.

Hope that helps. Love the blog.

Tim said...

If I understand correctly, these mailings and meetings concern the adjustment of the Near South TIF by a block or two to allow funds to be used to build the new Jones College Prep school. Confusion is understandable as each letter is written entirely in legalese.

I'm sure these letters are required by law, but it might be nice if they could include some language that a layperson could understand. I hope people here don't get too worked up over certain legal terms!

Matt said...

There are multiple notices being sent because the TIF districts being adjusted to include the property just to the south of jones college prep and then because there is going to be a zoning change to that land to allow them to build the new facility. I'm not sure why so many copies have been sent, but from what I can tell, that's the bulk of what is being communicated

Sarah Lewis Smith said...

I received two via certified and about two months ago I received two via regular mail. Waste of tax payer money.

MarkChicago said...

I received one by email from my Condo board and FOUR by certified mail in one day. Also two more a week later. Waste of money, waste of paper. That said, i'm still not surprised.

Anonymous said...

It's not taxpayer money being spent on the letters. They are usually sent out by the developer.

Anonymous said...

I also received numerous mailings regarding the TIF. A concern at the moment is that our taxes will go up, I'm okay with that so long as our property values go up as well BUT my biggest concern is that all the notices were vague about what type of new zoning were being applied for and what business were looking/approved for in the TIF zone. Anyone have a better idea of who's building what and where?