The Real Deal Chicago

City wants to extend life of TIF districts to help spur development

The move would use more property tax revenue to pay for infrastructure in areas including one near Lincoln Yards
November 28, 2018 09:11AM

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Goose Island (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)

The city is moving to extend the life of four tax increment financing districts on the North and South sides to spur development. One of those would be near Sterling Bay’s proposed Lincoln Yards megaproject.

The Illinois House this week approved a bill to add 13 years to those TIF districts — Goose Island, 95th/Western, 71st/Stony Island and Bryn Mawr-Broadway — that are expiring soon, and the Senate could soon do the same, according to Crain’s.

TIF districts by law now sunset after 23 years. During that time, all growth in property tax revenue goes to a special fund to pay for infrastructure improvements within the district. It is not paid to the area’s taxing bodies. While the city has to authority to create a TIF district, it needs Legislative approval to change the law capping TIF districts at 23 years.

City officials said the four districts in question helped spur development as planned but there’s still more work to be done.

In the Goose Island district, for instance, the extension would support infrastructure improvements to Division Street and its bridges, as well as a proposed transitway through Goose Island that’s mentioned as part of the Lincoln Yards project. Much of the infrastructure work in the Sterling Bay development, though, would be funded through another TIF district the city wants to create.

Money from the other three districts would help attract an anchor tenant near the 95th and Western commercial district, redevelop the Jeffrey Plaza shopping center on the Southeast Side and help pay for CTA improvements in the Bryn Mawr-Broadway district, the city said. [Crain’s] — John O’Brien