Any rational soul would assume it’s metaphysically certain that the Cubs will win a World Series or [redacted pop culture reference] before an American election campaign deals with tax increment financing.
After all, our financial literacy is awful, and it’s difficult to understand tax increment financing — which provides a way to use the rise in tax revenues from property value growth within a designated area suffering from “blight,” a so-called TIF district, to finance development within that area.
And schools you!
While Mr. Orr contends it’s a “travesty” that most Chicagoans are clueless about all that money, one can’t dispute that TIFs are central to development, especially downtown. And it’s hard to dispute how they allow municipalities to support development without raising property taxes.
It’s hard to dispute if you take the Daley administration’s line on TIFs and property taxes. If you don’t, it’s less hard, though it does require a little bit of math. Here’s Ben Joravsky, writing in 2007 (emphasis mine):