Evanston Sees 7th Most TIF Money of Cook County Suburbs

As a whole, Evanston’s TIF districts brought in $7.1 million in 2011, down from $8.1 million in 2010.

The city of Evanston shuttled more of its tax revenue through tax-increment financing districts than the vast majority of suburban Cook County municipalities that employed the tool in 2011.   

Among the 94 municipalities that had tax-increment financing (TIF) districts in place last year, Evanston brought in more money through its TIF districts than all but six municipalities. Designed to generate money for economic development in a particular area, the tool allows local governments to reinvest all new tax dollars in a certain district for up to 23 years.

TIF districts in Evanston—as is true throughout the county—aren’t performing as well as they have in the past, however. TIF revenue declined by 7.7 percent countywide, from $298 million in 200 to $275 million in 2011, according to the clerk’s office. 

Cook County Clerk David Orr said in a press release that the decline is caused by the sagging real estate market, which resulted in lower assessments that in turn decreased the incremental value that could be realized in each TIF district. 

Evanston’s TIF districts lost revenue by a significantly greater percentage than the countywide average, according to Orr’s report. Evanston brought in a total of $7,064,127 in TIF revenue in 2011, down 13 percent from 2010, when the city collected some $8,147,899. 

A large TIF district in West Evanston saw the biggest decline in revenue, falling from $519,193 in 2010 to $116,307 in 2011, a 77 percent drop.  Declines in three other TIF districts ranged between 4 and 12 percent, while revenue increased in the TIF at Howard Street and Ridge Avenue, from $654,937 in 2010 to $675,139 in 2011. (scroll down for chart)

The number of TIF districts has grown since the late 1970s, but growth has leveled off in Chicago and picked up in the suburbs, according to the clerk’s office. 

That’s certainly the case in Evanston, where aldermen a new TIF district at the southwest corner of Dempster Street and Dodge Avenue. The proposal calls for $20 million in tax-increment financing over the next 23 years at the shopping center called Evanston Plaza. 

Aldermen are also set to discuss at Chicago Avenue and Main Street some time this summer. And in February, the city council authorized another contract with Kane, McKenna to study the downtown commercial area west of the CTA/Metra viaducts and assess its viability as a new or amended TIF district. 



Click on the name of each TIF district to see a map of its location.

TIF District 2011 Revenue 2010 Revenue Percent Change Howard/Ridge $674,139 $654,937 2.93 West Evanston $116,307 $519,193 -77.6 Howard/Hartrey $1,141,499 $1,212,230 -5.83 Southwest $465,729 $483,551 -3.69 Washington National $4,666,453 $5,277,989 -11.59
Sully July 20, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Richard, if you really have moved to Florida, don't you think it's about time you put Evanston behind you? Being obsessed over a simple place is really not healthy.
Jennifer Fisher July 20, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Just a note here--we deleted the most recent comment on this article because it contained profanity. Commenters, please refer to our terms of use at http://evanston.patch.com/terms and please, play nice.
Jim Osburn July 21, 2012 at 02:49 AM
Back to the subject! TIF's can be overdone and turn counterproductive. Other gov't entities have to postpone getting increased revenues so other property owners bear an increased burden supporting schools, libraries and the like. If the TIF is administered wisely, additional value will be gained along with additional sales/use taxes. If not administered wisely, it becomes a moneypit that does no one any good--except those who have ripped off the system.
lucas July 21, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Owners of mall get a 23 year tax break while everyone gets increases. Mine went up about 12%. Everytime city buys properties tax revenue goes down.
Sully July 21, 2012 at 09:35 PM
Case in point would be School District 46 in and around Grayslake. A district in which residents don't want to pay higher taxes and businesses won't pay.


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