The Problem:

Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development releases the city’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) financial audits as a set of PDF documenters every year. Many files created in PDF format are essentially images of documents:

  • They are hard to read on mobile devices

  • Searching text within the document can be difficult

  • They are not conducive to spreadsheet conversion, which makes deeper analysis possible

Due to the document type, community organizations, individuals and small to mid-size media outlets without technological capacity often find it difficult to parse these documents according to the needs of their communities and audiences.

Our Solution:

We’ve processed the 2018 TIF Reports for you, and we’re making the resulting spreadsheet available with some of the most critical columns listed for easy browsing, analysis and display.

  • Find the original PDF documents from the Department of Planning and Development here

  • See our converted spreadsheet for use in your own analysis here

  • To run your own spreadsheet, check out our processing code via our GitHub repo

Explore some findings from this year’s TIF report:

As of January 1, 2019 there was over $1.5 billion ($1,514,711,591) sitting in Chicago’s Tax Increment Financing accounts.

  • Chicago had 144 active TIFs in 2018, one less than 2017. 

  • Total Property Tax Increment extraction for 2018 = $674 million ($674,658,552). 

  • Chicago’s 145 active TIFs have collected a total of $5.7 billion ($5,783,848,647) since the program started. 

  • The Top Ten TIFs collected a total of #330 million ($330,729,037) in property taxes in 2018. These are the “champions” in terms of property tax extraction. The Number One TIF = LaSalle/Central (#147), collected $69 million ($69,007,881) in 2018. This Top Ten list is shown below.

    • LaSalle Central

    • Kinzie Industrial Corridor

    • Canal/Congress

    • Chicago/Kingsbury

    • Near North

    • River South

    • Central West

    • River West

    • Midwest

    • Pilsen Industrial Corridor

  • The Top Ten TIFs in terms of fund balance were holding $237 million ($237,157,445.00) in property taxes on January 1, 2019. The TIF with the largest fund balance was the River South TIF (#037) holding $36.5 million ($36,587,034.00).

  • Total expenditures from Chicago’s TIFs in 2017 were $418.9 million ($418,973,433.00). This is how much all of Chicago’s TIF districts spent in 2018. The biggest spender in 2018 was the River South TIF at $36.5 million ($36,587,034). $30.6 million of that amount was given to the Board of Education.

  • In 2017 23 TIFs extracted at least 90% of property taxes collected from some or all of the properties within their borders. Four TIFs extracted 100% of the property taxes from properties within their borders.

  • Total revenues transferred into TIFs accounts from another TIF account in 2018 was $140.5 million ($140,555,396.00). 

  • Total “surplus” revenues from TIFs distributed out to local government sources was $189.2 million ($189,273,256.00). 

  • In total, $329.8 million ($329,828,652) of TIF funds were moved around the city was 48% of all the property taxes that was collected in 2018.

  • In 2018, 13 TIFs used property taxes to pay a total of $97.1 million ($97,115,206.21) in finance charges to two banks. The banks were:

    • Amalgamated Bank of Chicago

    • Zions Bank

The Department of Planning and Development extracted $8.1 million ($8,135,300.00) for staffing costs from 93 TIFs.