Governmental bodies can not only take your property for public uses such as roads, parks, forest preserves, municipal buildings, public buildings, schools, airports, public stadiums, and sewer and water lines, but in certain instances they can also take private property to sell or transfer to private developers. The most common method for such takings in municipalities is the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District. The City of Chicago has over 140 TIF districts, and the rest of Illinois has another 850.
In Illinois, TIF districts can only be created if the municipality determines that an area qualifies as a “blighted” area or “conservation” area. The statutory definition for these terms is so broad that many suburban downtown districts qualify.
Under Illinois law, before a municipality creates a TIF district, it must hold a public hearing. The municipality sends notice of the hearing to all property owners within the proposed district as least two weeks before the hearing.
If your property is potentially included in a TIF district, you should obtain the proposed TIF redevelopment plan and review the following:
Study the eligibility report and the factors that the consultant claims allow your area to be qualified as a “blighted” or “conservation” area.
Study the land acquisition map to determine if your property is slated to be taken by the municipality.
Study the proposed budget, paying attention to the amount the consultant says will be paid for the property to be acquired.
For clients whose property is within a proposed TIF district, Ryan & Ryan can provide consultation about how to respond to the proposed plan.