Original story written by WICS/WRSP Staff on June 1st, 2021, posted on News Channel ABC 20. Photo provided by WICS. A link to the original article can be found HERE
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WICS/WRSP) — A bill that aims to increase transparency from tax increment financing (TIF) districts is now heading to Gov. JB Pritzker’s desk.
The Illinois Senate and House have passed House Bill 571, which would create strict transparency reporting requirements for TIF districts.
Under this legislation, each year, municipalities would have to report the amount of jobs and new property tax revenue created by a TIF project.
An independent consultant would have to verify this data to prevent conflicts of interest with developers.
City governments can use TIF districts to divert future property tax revenue increases toward projects for economic development.
But according to the bill’s chief House sponsor, State Rep. Jonathan Carroll, D-Northbrook, a TIF can cause an increased tax burden for homeowners.
Carroll says taxpayers are often uninformed about the performance of TIF districts.
“Tax increment financing districts currently divert future property tax revenue increases from school districts, park districts, and other taxing bodies toward economic development projects, but do so with little transparency provided to taxpayers,” Carroll said. “This bill says ‘show me the money.’ Show the amount of new property tax revenue generated; show the number of new jobs created. Prove yourself TIF.”
On Wednesday, April 21, 114 members of the Illinois House voted to pass the bill, while one voted no and one voted present.
The Illinois Senate passed the measure in a unanimous 56-0 vote on Friday, May 28.