Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, is a tool state lawmakers gave local governments more than 20 years ago to help local governments jumpstart economically sluggish parts of town. With this tool, financially strapped local governments can make the improvements they need, like new roads or new sewers, and provide incentives to attract businesses or help existing businesses expand, without tapping into general funds or raising taxes.

Since the Federal and State governments have greatly reduced their support for economic development, Tax Increment Financing permits municipalities to accept some of this responsibility without raising local property taxes.

TIFs help local governments attract private development and new businesses. New businesses mean more jobs, more customers, and, in turn, more private investment. TIF designation also helps retain existing businesses that might otherwise find more attractive options elsewhere. The jobs and additional investment - private and public - mean more money for the community.

TIF also helps to overcome the extraordinary costs that often prevent development and private investment from occurring on environmentally contaminated and other properties. As a result, the TIF area itself improves and property values go up.

Without TIF benefits, a sluggish area will not improve. Most local governments cannot afford the needed costly improvements without raising taxes. But in a TIF district, dollars for improvements are generated by businesses - new and old - attracted by the TIF benefits. Specifically, money for infrastructure improvements and other incentives comes from the growth in property tax revenues - the tax increment.

A tax increment is the difference between the amount of property tax revenue generated before TIF district designation and the amount of property tax revenue generated after TIF designation. Establishment of a TIF does not reduce property tax revenues available to the overlapping taxing bodies. Property taxes collected on properties included in the TIF at the time of its designation continue to be distributed to the school districts, county, community college and all other taxing districts in the same manner as if the TIF did not exist. Only property taxes generated by the incremental increase in the value of these properties after that time are available for use by the TIF.

Sheridan Road TIF Redevelopment Project

In 2019 the Village Board approved ordinances creating a newe TIF District throughout the Sheridan Road Business corridor.

Sheridan Road TIF Redevelopment Project Area Plan (75 pages PDF)
TIF Fact Sheet (3 pages PDF)

Winthrop Harbor TIF District - "The Triangle"

edc triangle1In an effort to encourage redevelopment of key land parcels in the downtown business corridor, the Village of Winthrop Harbor established a TIF District for the area commonly known as "The Triangle".

This area encompasses approximately 8.3 acres of land at the northeast corner of Sheridan Road and 7th Street at the only entry way to North Point Marina.