In September 2008, the Brookfield village board voted to create the Ogden Avenue Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District as a way to spur commercial development along the village’s busiest business corridor.

In the first year of its existence, the district’s commercial properties created a $322,971 “increment” – property tax dollars to be used to help finance infrastructure improvements, fund incentives for developers, acquire property and a whole host of other potential uses – to be used within the TIF.

It turns out that 2008, the year of the great real estate crash throughout the United States, would be the high-water mark for not only the Ogden Avenue TIF district, but most TIFs within the Chicago area.

Since 2008, the incremental tax dollars created within the Ogden Avenue TIF have tanked. After using $285,000 in TIF funds to purchase the property at 4000 DuBois Blvd. at the end of 2011, according to Brookfield’s 2011 financial audit, there was just $175,000 left in the Ogden TIF fund.

“Property values have gone down and there have been a lot of appeals,” said Assistant Village Manager Keith Sbiral, who is the village’s point person for TIF districts. “There are also a lot of vacancies, so those properties are not paying the same rates. When you base that off 2008 levels, the increment goes down pretty quickly.”

In the Ogden Avenue TIF area, the equalized assessed value for all of the properties within the district fell 13 percent from 2010 to 2011. When the district was created, the Equalized Assessed Valuation (EAV) of properties within the TIF was frozen at $23.2 million. At the end of 2011, the EAV was valued at $20.7 million.

According to a report issued July 18 by Cook County Clerk David Orr, revenue from the Ogden Avenue TIF has fallen significantly each year since 2008.

In 2009, the TIF generated a $114,417 increment, a 64.5 percent decrease since 2008. In 2010, revenue within the TIF fell to $70,480. In 2011, it had fallen all the way to $13,175.

That performance tracked with the vast majority of TIFs throughout the Chicago area, according to Orr.

“The 2011 report shows that 80 percent of all Chicago TIFs saw double-digit revenue drops,” Orr said. “Only 10 TIFs, or 6 percent of Chicago’s TIFs, saw revenue increases.”

While the Ogden Avenue TIF has so far failed to generate the kind of revenue anticipated by village officials when they created the district, the impact could have been worse.

When they created the TIF, officials decided it would be a “pay-as-you-go” district instead of issuing bonds upfront to fund infrastructure or other improvements. Had the village chosen to issue debt at the outset of the TIF, it’s unlikely TIF revenues could have covered the annual debt service, meaning it would have to come from somewhere else – like the village’s general operating fund.

“If we had bonded out and had debt service to make, we’d be in trouble,” Sbiral said. “We’re not in a loss situation.”

But the district is not in a gain situation either because there has been precious little new development along Ogden Avenue. One of the few redevelopment efforts is the one ongoing at Dunkin Donuts, corner of Ogden and Maple avenues. That’s the kind of development Sbiral said will help get the TIF back on track.

“If we can get two to three developments like that, all of a sudden you turn around the loss,” said Sbiral.

The street is dotted with significant vacant parcels, including the village-owned parcel at Ogden and Eberly, another just a stone’s throw away at 9508 Ogden Ave., the former Nino’s restaurant property at 9237 Ogden Ave. and the former Puder Motors building at 9000 Ogden Ave.

There’s also the vacant former Brookfield Moose property at 4000 DuBois Blvd., purchased by the village to create the Congress Park TIF district in December 2011.

While there’s not much the village can do to market the private properties that are vacant, said Sbiral, there are some things the village can do with respect to the properties it owns.

“We can negotiate prices [of those properties] to be favorable to incentivize for infrastructure,” said Sbiral. “I’d be hesitant to [create incentives] for a rehab of an existing building because you’re not going to get the property tax boost out of that.

“In the end we need to find uses for the slightly awkward parcels we have.”

Sbiral said there was no news regarding potential suitors for the village’s properties along Ogden Avenue, but he promised the village would be pressing to market those properties soon.

In 2010 and 2011, the village hired a real estate broker to help market and solicit developers for the property at Ogden and Eberly and was reportedly close to a deal with a soft-serve ice cream chain. However, that deal fell through and the village let its contract with the broker lapse in 2011.