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New Bill Allows for Creation of Transit-Focused TIF Districts

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Amidst the ongoing conversation about tax increment financing (TIF) and recent pushes for transit-oriented development in Chicago comes welcome news from the Illinois Senate, Streetsblog Chicago reports. Last week the Illinois Senate passed a new bill, SB0277, which will allow Chicago City Council to create new transit-focused TIF districts within a half-mile of a handful of major transit projects currently or soon-to-be underway, including the CTA's Red and Purple Modernization, the South Red Line Extension, the Blue Line's Forest Park Modernization, and the Union Station Master Plan project.

Transit TIFs will work as property values increase in areas adjacent to existing or planned transit facilities. Additional tax revenue generated in these areas, above a certain level, will be set aside for transit TIF projects, which will continue to focus on modernization and improvement, consequently further increasing surrounding property values. Would-be transit-specific TIFs in areas already declared TIF districts would be instituted following the expiration or council-led dissolution of the existing TIF district, and once instituted, could last up to 50 years. On paper, the new type of TIF district seems like it would be beneficial for encouraging transit-oriented development. But then, everything looks good on paper.

·New Type of TIF District Would Increase Funding for Transit Projects [Streetsblog]
·Why Chicago Needs More Transit-Oriented Developments [Curbed Chicago]
·Previous TIF coverage [Curbed Chicago]