What conditions must exist for an area to be designated for TIF?

Illinois law includes three sets of conditions for qualifying areas as TIFs:

  • blighted conditions
  • conservation conditions
  • industrial park conservation conditions

To be designated as a blighted area:

Improved property (land that is not vacant) must contain at least 5 of 14 factors that make it detrimental to the public safety, health or welfare of the community. These factors must be present, with that presence documented, to a meaningful extent so that a municipality may reasonably find that each factor is clearly present and reasonably distributed throughout the improved part of the area. These factors are:

  • Dilapidation
  • Obsolescence
  • Deterioration
  • Illegal use of individual structures
  • Structures below minimum code standards
  • Excessive land coverage and overcrowding of structures and community facilities
  • Lack of ventilation, light or sanitary facilities
  • Inadequate utilities
  • Excessive land coverage
  • Deleterious land use or layout
  • Environmental clean-up
  • Declining equalized assessed value
  • Lack of community planning

Vacant land must have at least two of the following six factors that impair sound growth of the area, using comparable standards of evidence as for improved areas:

  • Obsolete platting
  • Diversity of ownership
  • Tax and special assessment delinquencies
  • Environmental contamination
  • Declining equalized assessed value
  • Deterioration of structures or site improvements on adjacent land

In addition, there are six other types of vacant land that can be designated for TIF. They include land that was blighted before becoming vacant; unused quarries, mines, or strip mine ponds; unused rail yards, rail tracks or railroad right-of-way; chronic flooding that adversely impacts on property in the area and is caused by improvements recently constructed in the area; unused or illegal disposal sites; large areas that have been previously designated as a town center and meet other requirements.

To be designated as an industrial park conservation area:

The municipality must have had a relatively high unemployment rate and the area to be designated must be located within the municipality or within 1.5 miles of the municipal boundaries and be annexed to the municipality; be zoned industrial prior to the establishment of the TIF and contain vacant land suitable for an industrial park and a blighted or conservation area contiguous to the vacant land. 

To be designated as a conservation area:

  • At least 50% of the structures in the improved area must be 35 years old
  • Three of the 14 factors for designation of a blighted area and another factor entitled "excessive vacancies" must be present.

Show All Answers

1. What is Tax Increment Financing?
2. What is a "Tax Increment"?
3. How do TIFs improve communities?
4. Are TIFs widely used?
5. What communities in Illinois us TIF?
6. How long has TIF been around?
7. Why is there a need for Tax Increment Financing?
8. Does TIF divert money from schools?
9. What kinds of TIFs are there?
10. How is a TIF created?
11. What kind of planning goes into the development of a TIF project area?
12. What conditions must exist for an area to be designated for TIF?
13. What are the opportunities for public input?
14. Who controls TIF funds?
15. Can TIFs be changed?
16. Who monitors the TIF process?
17. When does a TIF terminate?