Does TIF divert money from schools?

No. On the contrary, TIFs can create money for schools.

First, schools continue to receive all the tax revenue they were entitled to before the creation of the TIF district.

Second, under most circumstances, a school’s state aid is greater when a school district overlaps a successful TIF district. The incremental growth in property values is excluded from the property tax base when the state calculates the amount of aid it should award to a school district. The “poorer” a school district, the more it stands to benefit from having a TIF district.

Third, the property tax revenue generated from private development attracted by a TIF designation is truly “new” money. Without TIF, development would not occur and the tax increment would not be produced. Not only would new tax money not be generated, but also the area itself would remain economically stagnant.

Critics of TIF argue that school districts are entitled to immediately receive a percentage of the TIF increment. However, it is the tax increment that pays for the improvements that attract private investment and stimulate economic growth. If the increment cannot be used for financing improvements and incentives, private investment and economic development will not occur, and no increment will be made available to any taxing bodies.

Fourth, when the TIF district expires, the tax increment that had been used by the municipality to pay off the redevelopment costs is returned to the tax rolls and available to schools and other local taxing bodies---even in areas where property tax “caps” have been adopted.

Fifth, from time to time a TIF district generates more incremental revenue than is needed to retire the TIF debt and pay redevelopment costs. That surplus is often distributed to the other taxing bodies, including schools.

Show All Answers

1. What is Tax Increment Financing?
2. What is a "Tax Increment"?
3. How do TIFs improve communities?
4. Are TIFs widely used?
5. What communities in Illinois us TIF?
6. How long has TIF been around?
7. Why is there a need for Tax Increment Financing?
8. Does TIF divert money from schools?
9. What kinds of TIFs are there?
10. How is a TIF created?
11. What kind of planning goes into the development of a TIF project area?
12. What conditions must exist for an area to be designated for TIF?
13. What are the opportunities for public input?
14. Who controls TIF funds?
15. Can TIFs be changed?
16. Who monitors the TIF process?
17. When does a TIF terminate?