Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is a program that allocates future increases in property taxes from a designated area to pay for improvements only within that area. The program lasts for 23 years after the creation of the TIF district.
An easy way to understand a TIF is to consider this: Your annual salary is $10,000 at year #1. For 23 years, your checking account then receives $10,000 annually. All other raises, bonuses, commissions, or other increases you earn go to a separate account. That separate account funds your TIF.
The Main-Chicago TIF was established in 2013. It will expire in 2036.
An Advisory Committee of local residents and business owners was put into place by the City Council, in order to vet and prioritize ideas for kinds of development within the TIF district. Information on the Committee can be found here. This panel provides information and feedback to the Council for its deliberation.
The City Council voted for the TIF with major considerations in mind. One was the future use of the property at the SE corner of Main and Chicago. Another was the aging public infrastructure of the area. Others were the appearance of the area as well as a desire to support existing businesses, many of which are unique and irreplaceable.
Illinois law controls the kind of items a TIF can fund. Within those rules, many different types of projects may be considered. The Advisory Committee will develop ways and means to test proposals and evaluate them in light of the general goals of this TIF.
The City Council is the governing body for determination of how TIF funds will be used.