In a landmark victory for taxpayer transparency, Cook County Clerk David Orr has announced that starting this year, the County’s property tax bills will show how much each property owner is paying into any of the 435 tax increment financing (TIF) districts now active in the County.
This is big news: Cook County is the second most populous county in the United States (after Los Angeles County) with 5.2 million residents. The County’s 435 TIF districts diverted $723 million away from schools and other public services last year. The County includes the City of Chicago which alone has diverted $5.5 billion into TIFs since 1986, and where parents and teachers are now demanding that the City declare a “TIF Surplus” and cough up some of the hundreds of millions of dollars former Mayor Daley squirreled away via secret TIF-revenue transfers.
For more about TIFs in Cook County and Chicago, we recommend taking a look at the County Clerk’s discussion on Youtube: