Jim Warren, reporting from the mayor’s public meeting at Westinghouse College Prep on Friday:

The most-referenced topic was Tax Increment Financing, one of Mr. Daley’s favorite fiscal vehicles, whose aim is to hike growth in down-in-the-dumps areas through revenues accruing from property value growth there. A somewhat disputed, and little-understood, spur to development, it is some citizens’ magical solution to every city ill.

Joravsky and Dumke FTW. Warren’s being a bit misleading in describing TIFs; they’re nominally for “down-in-the-dumps areas,” but in practice the opposite is true: “An analysis of the budget, which lays out proposed and approved expenditures for 152 active TIF districts from 2009 through 2011, shows that the program has generated a huge kitty that primarily funds improvement projects in thriving neighborhoods.” Still, it’s nice to see folks are listening.