A new tax increment financing (TIF) surplus proposal is being floated in Chicago.
The plan, backed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th), would allow aldermen to voluntarily freeze TIF districts in their wards and surplus the funds, which would be distributed to the local taxing bodies, including the cash-strapped Chicago Public Schools.
"For every dollar that gets surplused, over 50 cents goes to the schools. That's not insignificant," Pawar told the Chicago Sun-Times. "Everyone ... believes there's hundreds of millions of dollars. But if we're gonna surplus those dollars, it should be done with aldermen steering the ship. I don't want unilateral action against TIFs in my ward."
The proposal would also make permanent Emanuel's executive order from 2013 that formally calls for an annual TIF surplus of no less than 25 percent of unencumbered TIF funds from eligible districts.
The plan -- which is different from a proposed citywide TIF surplus ordinance backed by a majority of aldermen -- will likely be introduced at next month's City Council meeting.
Pawar, meanwhile, also announced that he is phasing out two TIF districts in his North Side ward. The Western Avenue South TIF and Ravenswood Industrial Corridor TIF districts will retire in 2018, a move that will produce about $8 million in revenue to be split among the local taxing bodies.