Mostly, when property values rise in a neighborhood, that neighborhood contributes a bigger share to the cost of running the government. But in TIF districts—short for tax-increment financing—that doesn’t happen. In those neighborhoods, when property values go up, taxes still go up too, but the increase goes to a special fund, controlled by the mayor.
That leaves the rest of the neighborhoods to make up the difference.
This year, Cook County Clerk David Orr’s office says Chicago TIFs will take in $461 million. That money goes toward special projects— not general obligations like pensions.