If you’ve ever wondered why Ben Joravsky feels the need to constantly explain what a TIF is, here’s why:

“If the [Olympic] village is built in a tax increment financing district, the extra property tax revenue generated by the new development would pay for public improvements in the area for a set period of time.”

Joravsky has more on the Olympic village project today. But let’s just look at that one word, extra.

I mean the post title quite literally. Whether or not it’s “extra” is a matter of interpretation. And Daley’s been riding the above interpretation for years, siphoning off billions in revenue that the city can quite literally do what it wants with, including shift TIF funds from one TIF district to another.

So, is it “extra” property tax revenue? Depends on what you mean. Here’s how Joravsky explained it in a 2005 article: