Tax Increment Financing in the Chicago Region

October 9, 2007

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is arguably the most popular economic development financing tool in the country. By harnessing future property tax revenues to pay for current expenditures, TIF has provided countless dollars to enable the municipal planning function at a time when other sources of funds have dried up. But this form of off-budget financing has attracted a large share of detractors and critics.

In this program, Rachel Weber of the University of Illinois at Chicago addressed some of these controversies within the context of how TIF has been used by the City of Chicago and its suburban neighbors. She discussed issues such as whether TIF creates more or new fiscal risks for municipalities and their residents, if TIF actually causes subsequent increases in district property values or captures appreciation that would have taken place without the use of this mechanism, and what the effects of TIF are on the revenues of overlapping taxing jurisdictions, such as school districts.

PDF of PowerPoint Presentation (pdf)


Rachel Weber

Rachel Weber is an associate professor in the Urban Planning and Policy Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is the author of numerous articles and reports in the fields of public finance, real estate, and economic development, with focus on the design and effectiveness of financial incentives for urban redevelopment. She is currently writing a book about the relationship between financial markets and the recent urban construction boom. Weber received her master's degree and doctorate in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University and bachelor's degree from Brown University.