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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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
Improving Tax Increment Financing for Economic DevelopmentMembers only Login
David Merriman from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy explains how tax increment financing (TIF) districts work, illustrates TIF use with case studies from around the country, discusses the rationales for using TIF, describes TIF’s potential benefits and pitfalls, and reviews a large body of academic work that evaluates TIF’s effects on economic development.
CDFA & ICSC Tax Increment Financing Video Series: Tax Increment Financing for the Developer
A successful TIF is a partnership between the jurisdiction, community and the developer. The fourth video in this collaborative series developed by The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and The Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) outlines the use of this tool from the developer perspective. This video highlights best practices and common pitfalls for developers utilizing TIF. The nationally recognized practitioners share their perspective about the types of characteristics that make for successful project with TIF.
CDFA & ICSC Tax Increment Financing Video Series: Implementing Tax Increment Financing
The second video in this collaborative series developed by The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and The Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) outlines the variety of educational resources provided by the two organizations. Also discussed is the value of each organization and how networking with other practitioners in the field can expand TIF knowledge and access.
CDFA & ICSC Tax Increment Financing Video Series: Tax Increment Financing Explained
Tax increment finance is a popular development finance tool generally used to address blight, promote neighborhood stability and inspire district-oriented development. The first video in this collaborative series developed by ICSC and The CDFA outlines how tax increment financing works to encourage economic development and investment.
Education & Programs: A New Era of Tax Increment Finance
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Tax increment finance regulations are changing in a number of states, and Katie Kramer reviews several recent actions in this article from Development Finance Perspectives, Issue 1 | 2012. The article also includes a sidebar on changes to state tax credits.
CDFA Food Systems Finance Best Practices Guidebook
Linking development finance and food systems can be a daunting undertaking for any community. Research on the current ecosystem of food systems finance has positioned CDFA to identify key strategies for the path ahead in this work. The Food Systems Finance Best Practices Guidebook defines how traditional development finance tools can be used to launch and expand food and agricultural-related businesses and projects, and create successful food systems finance programs at the local and regional levels.
CDFA Food Finance White Paper Series: Advancing Food Systems Through Development Finance
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This is the sixth and final white paper in a series examining the potential creation of a food systems asset class that supports the market growth of local and regional food systems. This paper presents three replicable strategies for restoring local food systems: reframe food systems development as infrastructure and economic development; build effective relationships and partnerships across the entire food system; and plan for strategic food system financing.
Value Capture Strategies: Tax Increment FinancingMembers only Login
This FHWA webinar discusses how Tax Increment Financing (TIF) can be utilized as a value capture strategy for transportation projects. The webinar is intended for professionals from States, cities, counties, Tribes, and metropolitan and rural transportation agencies looking for innovative funding and financial strategies to pay for transportation projects.
CDFA Reframe, Build, Plan: Restoring America's Local Food Systems
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CDFA released the final publication of the CDFA Food Finance White Paper Series, Advancing Local Food Systems Through Development Finance. This webinar provides an overview of this publication as we review CDFA's framework for expanding traditional financing and attracting capital to local food systems through the Reframe, Build, Plan approach.