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TIF revenue up here, bucking county-wide decline

Revenue to Evanston's five tax increment financing districts rose an average a 12 percent from 2009 to 2010, Cook County Clerk David Orr reported today, bucking a trend that showed TIF revenue decline nearly 4 percent countywide.

Orr says TIF revenue across the county peaked in 2007 at $892 million and has declined each year since, reaching $807 million last year.

The decline, Orr says, is the result of TIFs being closed and the real estate downturn, which yielded lower assessments that impacted the incremental value.

Tax increment financing  is a tool municipalities can use to generate money for economic development in a designated geographic area.

TIF districts allow a city to reinvest all "new" property tax dollars in the neighborhood from which they came for a 23-year period. During that time, no tax revenue generated from increases in property values are allocated to schools, parks or other tax districts.

Of Evanston's TIF districts:

  • The Howard-Ridge TIF, created in  2003 generated $654,937 in revenue last year, compared to  $359,753 in 2009, an 82 percent increase.
  • The Church-Dodge TIF, created in 2005, generated $519,193 in revenue last year, compared to $470,387 in 2009, a 10 percent increase.
  • The Howard-Hartrey TIF, created in 1992, generated $1,212,230 in revenue last year, compared to $1,039,086 in 2009, a 17 percent increase.
  • The Southwest TIF, created in 1990, generated $483,551 in revenue last year, compared to  $448,601 in 2009, an 8 percent increase.
  • The Washington National TIF, created in 1994, generated $5,277,989 in revenue last year, compared to $4,929,053 in 2009, a 7 percent increase.

Another Evanston TIF, called Downtown II, was cancelled in 2009.

A map showing the performance of all TIF districts in the county is available online.

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