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Tax Increment Finance Resource Center

Read more about this Tool

Tax Increment Finance (TIF) is a mechanism for capturing the future tax benefits of real estate improvements, in order to pay for the present cost of those improvements. TIF is generally used to channel funding toward improvements in distressed or underdeveloped areas where development would not otherwise occur.


Tax increment finance is a popular development finance tool generally used to address blight, promote neighborhood stability and inspire district-oriented development. TIF uses the increased property or sales taxes (increment) generated by new development to finance costs related to the development such as public infrastructure, land acquisition, demolition, and planning. The life of a district can be anywhere from 10-40 years, or enough time to pay back the costs or bonds issued to fund the improvements.


The tax increment from a TIF district is created without raising taxes, and also without dipping into the base tax revenues present at the time of adoption. The increment thus becomes a repayment stream for debt used to finance some aspects of what is driving the increase.


The Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) have collaborated with teams of Tax Increment Finance Experts from across the country to develop a series of resources that highlight the use of this bedrock development finance tool. The resources found on this webpage address what TIF is, why it should be used, and how to best apply the TIF tool. The collaborative efforts of CDFA & ICSC have developed a six-part video series, along with two TIF reference guides that will help experienced and novice TIF users alike.


View the TIF Videos Series from CDFA and ICSC

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-Understanding Tax Increment Finance

Tax increment finance is a popular development finance tool generally used to address blight, promote neighborhood stability and inspire district-oriented development. This section contains useful resources that will help you understand the basics of TIF.

Learn more about Tax-Increment Financing

CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series: To TIF or Not to TIF
During this installment of the CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series experts examined the best strategies local governments and analysts are using to determine appropriate TIF assistance levels.
CDFA Food Finance White Paper Series: Food Systems & Targeted Tools
This white paper is part of a series examining the potential creation of a food systems asset class which supports the market growth of local and regional food systems. This paper focuses specifically on targeted financing tools that can be used to geographically target local and regional food system developments.
Targeted Tools - Price FinleyMembers only Login
Price Finley from Bricker & Eckler presents on the targeted tools of development finance.
Understanding Tax Increment Financing DistrictsMembers only Login
The Vermont Economic Progress Council presents on understanding Tax Increment Financing Districts
An Elected Official's Guide to Tax Increment FinancingMembers only Login
Each year state and local governments invest in economic development strategies to promote growth in their local economies. Over the past two decades the preeminent tool for achieving economic goals has been tax increment financing (TIF). Nicholas Greifer from the Government Finance Officers Association provides an overview on TIF for elected officials.
View More Understanding TIF Resources

-Resources

View all TIF Resources

-Building Community Support

In order for a local government to use TIF to its fullest potential, it is essential to educate the community. This section contains resources on building community support and how to obtain buy in from the community when using TIFs.

Tax Increment Financing: Making the Best Deal for Your CommunityMembers only Login
Daniel Lindstrom and Karl Frantz present on TIF and making the best deal for your community at the Wisconsin American Planning Association Annual Conference
The Impact of Tax Increment Financing on Illinois CommunitiesMembers only Login
One of the most popular topics at the Illinois Financing Roundtable is how tax increment financing is used to finance projects across the state. We'll feature that topic again this year, but with a twist. Maureen Barry of Ehlers Inc. explores the broader implications of TIF and considers how this tool can be used in Illinois communities to combat population decline, support disinvested communities, and create social impact through job creation and economic development.
TIF Addressing Buy-in and Public PolicyMembers only Login
The most overlooked element of TIF, public buy-in and policy, is explained by Mike Pehur of Duane Morris Government Strategies.
Community EngagementMembers only Login
The most overlooked element of TIF, public buy-in and policy, is explained by Courtney Knight of Invest Atlanta.
View more Building Community Support Resources

-Policies and Procedures

CDFA Texas Webinar: Driving Economic Development with TIRZ
TIF, also known as TIRZ in Texas, is a flexible tool with multiple variations as to the specific revenue sources it can generate and the different ways these revenues are used to support projects financings. During this webinar, presenters will discuss the typical sources for TIRZ repayments including: property tax, sales tax, and special assessments. Our experts will also address the range of ways in which TIRZ funds can be made available to fund projects during or after construction. This webinar will bring TIRZ deal-making and best practices into focus and explore creative ways to maximize this tool in the Lone Star State.
The Use of TIF in IllinoisMembers only Login
One of the most popular topics at the Illinois Financing Roundtable is how tax increment financing is used to finance projects across the state. We'll feature that topic again this year, but with a twist. Herb Klein with Jacob & Klein explores the broader implications of TIF and considers how this tool can be used in Illinois communities to combat population decline, support disinvested communities, and create social impact through job creation and economic development.
The Impact of Tax Increment Financing on Illinois CommunitiesMembers only Login
One of the most popular topics at the Illinois Financing Roundtable is how tax increment financing is used to finance projects across the state. We'll feature that topic again this year, but with a twist. Maureen Barry of Ehlers Inc. explores the broader implications of TIF and considers how this tool can be used in Illinois communities to combat population decline, support disinvested communities, and create social impact through job creation and economic development.
Larry Kosmont, EIFDs & CRIAs Do They Fill the TIF Void?Members only Login
Larry Kosmont from Kosmont companies look at the how enhanced infrastructure financing districts (EIFDs) and community revitalization and investment authorities (CRIAs) can be used to fill the TIF void in California.
View more TIF Policies & Procedures Resources

-Reporting and Analysis

Local governments should implement a transparent and thorough due diligence process when using TIFs. This section contains resources on how to analyze TIFs and how to report back to the community.

MN 2017 Tax Increment Financing Legislative ReportMembers only Login
This audit, produced by Minnesota State Auditor Rebecca Otto, details the impacts of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) in the State of Minnesota during the 2017 calendar year.
Arvada: Tax Increment Financing in ActionMembers only Login
Tax increment financing is a flexible and creative financing tool that can support development projects throughout Colorado. The Arvada Urban Renewal Authority shares their successes of using TIF for a number of different projects including housing, retail, and historic preservation.
Improving TIF Transparency and Accountability in Michigan
This report from Michigan State University seeks to contribute to the current policy discussion on TIF reform by developing the blueprint for a comprehensive, state-level database on the scale, scope and structure of TIF activities in Michigan.
Underwriting for Tax-Increment FinancingMembers only Login
Anita Morrison of Partners for Economic Solutions details the underwriting and deal-making aspects of tax increment financing structures.
CDFA TIF State-By-State Report 2015
The CDFA 2015 TIF State-By-State Report is a detailed review of the current state statutes and related regulations governing the use of tax increment financing tools throughout the country. This information has been collected by CDFA with the help from practitioners in the industry, and every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the data provided in this report.
View More TIF Reporting and Analysis Resources

-Programs Map

-Case Studies

CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series: To TIF or Not to TIF
During this installment of the CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series experts examined the best strategies local governments and analysts are using to determine appropriate TIF assistance levels.
Effectiveness of TIF in Austin, TXMembers only Login
The City’s use of tax increment financing in four TIF districts has resulted in positive benefits, including increased tax revenues, redevelopment of disused property, removal of land from a floodplain, and development of more housing. The City recently adopted new, more specific policies that could enhance the benefits the City realizes from the use of tax increment financing.
Atypical TIF Structures You Should Know - Keenan Rice, Alan Cason, PatrickTerranova, Kip Wahlers, Joe KimbellMembers only Login
Keenan Rice, Alan Cason, PatrickTerranova, Kip Wahlers, and Joe Kimbell present Atypical TIF Structures You Should Know.
CDFA Food Finance White Paper Series: Food Systems & Targeted Tools
This white paper is part of a series examining the potential creation of a food systems asset class which supports the market growth of local and regional food systems. This paper focuses specifically on targeted financing tools that can be used to geographically target local and regional food system developments.
Franklin County, OH TIF Deal for La Plaza TapatiaMembers only Login
The first County-Township parcel TIF (tax increment financing) enacted by Franklin County for a new location and expansion of a regional ethnic grocer: La Plaza Tapatia (the Developer), in Franklin Township.
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-Headlines

-Publications

Tax Increment Finance Best Practices Reference Guide 2nd Edition
The Tax Increment Finance Reference Guide addresses what TIF is, why it should be used and how best to apply the TIF tool. The reference guide also highlights both TIF and special assessment projects from across the country and discusses how they can be applied to address many common economic development issues.
Advance Tax Increment Finance Best Practices Reference Guide 2nd Edition
The Advance Tax Increment Finance Reference Guide examines model policies, guidelines and procedures, and outlines the TIF process from A to Z. Throughout the book, clear guidance is offered for assessing project feasibility and monitoring the performance of active TIF districts. In addition, the guide outlines the critical elements of state TIF statutes that should be known in order to ensure project success and long term economic prosperity.
View More Publications

-Training Courses

The Intro Tax Increment Finance Course offers an in-depth look at the guiding principles and appropriate application of TIF. This course brings TIF deal-making and best practices into focus through a two-day program targeting the entire TIF community including economic developers, public agency representatives, bond issuers, legal professionals, developers, financial advisors, and other stakeholders. 

The Advanced Tax Increment Finance Course builds upon CDFA's Intro TIF Course by focusing more concretely on structuring the deal and developing short- and long-term policies. You will also learn about performance monitoring, feasibility analysis and using TIF in conjunction with other development finance tools.

View All Courses

-Upcoming Events

CDFA Federal Policy Conference (cancelled)
April 14-15, 2020
Washington, DC
The federal government plays a critical role in driving private and public investment in innovation, job creation, infrastructure, and community development. With the 2020 presidential election quickly approaching, development finance will be a key policy issue across the nation. The 116th Congress will also play a major role in shaping our country’s economic development policy going forward. It's up to the development finance community to focus the national discussion on smart federal policy, and CDFA is the voice of the economic development finance community on Capitol Hill. For these reasons, CDFA will host its CDFA Federal Policy Conference on April 14-15 in Washington DC.
Intro Tax Increment Finance WebCourse
May 20-21, 2020
Daily: 12-5pm (Eastern)
This course brings TIF deal-making and best practices into focus through a two-day program targeting the entire TIF community including economic developers, public agency representatives, bond issuers, legal professionals, developers, financial advisors, and other stakeholders. 
Register
CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series: The Landscape of Food Systems Finance
Thursday, May 28, 2020
2:00 PM Eastern
For the second installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series, we will present key initiatives and programs being used to finance local food systems, and how CDFA is continuing to prove the food system as an asset class.
Register
CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series: Neighborhood Revitalization Through Food Systems Finance
Thursday, July 30, 2020
2:00 PM Eastern
This installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series will illustrate the many positive impacts that result from financing food systems at a neighborhood scale, with speakers to showcase the versatility of projects and financing approaches.
Register
CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series: Financing Food Systems Entrepreneurs
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
2:00 PM Eastern
During this installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series, development finance professionals from around the country will describe their strategies for supporting local entrepreneurs in moving their business from idea to execution.
Register
View more Upcoming Events

-Webcasts

CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series: To TIF or Not to TIF
During this installment of the CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series experts examined the best strategies local governments and analysts are using to determine appropriate TIF assistance levels.
CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series: The Landscape of Mega Project InitiativesMembers only Login
During this installment of the CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series, expert speakers from CAI Global, Baltimore Development Corporation, Arlington Economic Development, and VEDP provided an in-depth overview of the approaches being used by cities, counties, and states to attract mega projects like Amazon HQ2 and Under Armour.
CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series: Tax Increment Finance (TIF) - Innovation & TrendsMembers only Login
The results of TIF have been compelling since its inception as a development finance tool. Lending itself to flexibility and creativity, TIF has perennially supported diverse projects across diverse communities throughout the U.S. During this installment of the CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series, Fran Rood with SB Friedman and Alan Ferguson with InvestAtlanta shared the latest updates in TIF, discussed interactions between cities and other taxing bodies when developing a TIF district together, and explored the innovative ways communities are utilizing this tool to meet their ever-changing needs.  
CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series: Financing the Nation’s Transportation Needs One Community at a TimeMembers only Login
Federal, state, and local funding for transportation is woefully inadequate to cover the costs of maintenance and improvements needed. Although this subject is often discussed on a national level, it often remains a local issue for local communities to address. From bridges and roadways to water and energy, local communities are developing creative strategies to address their growing infrastructure needs.
CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series: Capturing the Success of High Performing DFA'sMembers only Login
This month’s CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series on Capturing the Success of High Performing DFA's featured Tim Fisher of CDFA, Paul Toth of Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, Gary Smith of Chester County Economic Development Council, Samuele Bozzolla of Allegheny County, and Juan Salgado of Phoenix Industrial Development Authority.
View More Webcasts

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  • Petros PACE Finance
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