Ben Joravasky’s lonely crusade in the Reader against TIF abuse is taking on allies. An editorial (sub. req.) in this week’s Crain’s Chicago Business says “the mayor’s favorite development tool” has worn out its welcome, with TIF districts today covering 30 percent of Chicago and locking up “nearly $380 milliion in property tax revenue in fiscal 2006.” The idea behind tax increment financing is to encourage development in depressed areas by reinvesting all the extra property tax revenues generated by development within the district. But Mayor Daley’s taken it to the extreme of trying to create a LaSalle Street TIF–something Ben’s had quite a bit to say about in the past. Crain’s concurs: “If ever there were a place to let the market take its natural course, this is it.”