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Illinois TIF Association

By Jeremy Voss
Business Development Specialist, Untamed Equity

I was excited to attend ITIA’s Fall Conference at the Union Club in Chicago. The Illinois Tax Increment Association (ITIA) is a not-for-profit public/private partnership organization of municipalities and other governmental entities, corporations, non-profits, associations, and individuals engaged in or interested in tax increment finance and economic development in Illinois. ITIA represents over 260 members, who oversee more than 80% of Illinois TIF redevelopment projects. Emily, our fearless leader, presented at the Spring 22 Conference, and I was lucky enough to attend the Fall Conference. Seeing so many leaders and experts in TIF getting together to talk about practical solutions to current issues was fantastic. I wish every state had an organization like this!

We started out the day with “The Story of Berwyn.” Berwyn, a suburb of Chicago, built a row of tiny houses to incubate and scale-up small business retail shops. The goal was to give artisans, makers, and entrepreneurs the resources needed to test their products in the local market, ultimately creating enough market share to open a brick-and-mortar location downtown. The program has become incredibly successful, taking over 30% of participants out of the pop-up shops/online-only space and into storefronts.

The second session explored the ability to use Eminent Domain in TIF projects. Using the ‘public good’ language in the State of Illinois’ definition of ‘Economic Development,’ Kathleen Field Orr, Esq., Amanda J. Ripp, Esq., and James M. Vasselli, Esq. gave an in-depth and step-by-step guide to developing TIF around a seized property. Session 3 was an advanced TIF and Business district discussion led by Adam Stroud & TJ Blakeman, AICP, followed by Session 4, specific changes and deadlines to Illinois TIF laws. And before the mixer, Shannon O’Hare & Carolyn Salzer spoke on the Trend in industrial incentives in the state.

The services the ITIA provides are invaluable, and all states could benefit from such an organization. Having professionals that understand and communicate more advanced TIF concepts is incredible. I love TIF 101’s, but providing assistance with specific issues raised by those already deep into TIF is just as important. We will be returning and hopefully speaking again next year.

Please contact us for more information on monetizing TIFs.

Jeremy holds two Master of Business Administration degrees and has served as the Executive Director of a non-profit Economic Development organization in Nebraska and Project Manager for a Des Moines Metro Economic Development group, totaling over ten years of experience in Rural Development.