After relative stagnation for almost a decade, the Ogden Avenue Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District in Brookfield vaulted forward in 2018, generating its highest annual revenue total since being created 11 years ago.

According to a county-wide report issued by Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough last week, the Ogden Avenue TIF generated $362,427 in 2018. That represents a 634-percent increase over the $49,395 the district generated the previous year and amounts to more than a third of the total TIF revenue created since the district was created in 2008.

From 2010-17, the Ogden TIF generated just $187,599 in incremental revenue.

The jump in revenue comes during a time when equalized assessed value of commercial property along Ogden Avenue is finally on the rise after a long period of devaluation following the 2008 real estate crash.

In a TIF district, property assessment levels are frozen with respect to property taxes collected by local taxing bodies for 23 years. Any incremental revenue generated by increased property assessments, due to infrastructure improvements or commercial redevelopment is sequestered in a special fund that can only be used within the TIF district for initiatives related to economic development.

The Ogden Avenue TIF, which stretches from Custer Avenue to Eberly Avenue along Ogden Avenue and includes almost every commercial property along the strip, has generated $987,417 during its 11 year existence – almost half of it during its first two years.

But the Ogden TIF came roaring back to life in 2018 due to increased property assessments resulting from the triennial reassessment of Lyons Township properties in 2017 and a number of modest commercial redevelopment projects, like Sherwin Williams, Advance Auto Parts and Dunkin Donuts, since 2015.

“That’s the way it’s supposed to work,” said Brookfield Village Manager Timothy Wiberg. “As investments are made in the TIF, the hope is that you get a self-perpetuating rise in increment.”

TIF funds can be used for a variety of purposes within the district they’re collected, including buying and assembling property, doing environmental site remediation, for infrastructure and streetscape improvements and for economic incentives to promote redevelopment.

Ogden Avenue TIF funds, for example, have been used to buy property within the TIF district in the 9500 block of Ogden Avenue. The property borders the village’s Congress Park TIF District, which formerly was home to the Brookfield Moose lodge and now serves as a commuter parking lot.

That area of the village has long been identified as an important redevelopment site.

“For Ogden, our number one priority site is the Congress Park station area where we own parcels,” Wiberg said. “But getting a really good development there will require some type of TIF assistance.”

Wiberg said the village also wants to put together a long-range plan to improve the streetscape “appearance and functionality” along the entire length of Ogden Avenue, where through the decades parkways have been paved over and vehicles cross sidewalks to access parking.

The village is likely to apply for grants to address those kinds of streetscape improvements, said Wiberg, and TIF funds could be used for any local funding match required by a grant.

The county clerk’s TIF report also indicated that the small Congress Park TIF, created in 2011, has generated no revenue at all due the fact that it is owned by the village and is tax exempt.

The Eight Corners TIF generated $190,809 in revenue for that district in 2018, which was actually a decrease of 7 percent over the previous year. In 2017, the Congress Park TIF generated $205,715.

The village is using much of the funds generated in the Eight Corners TIF during the past couple years to fund aspects of an ongoing improvement project along Broadway Avenue this summer, including new street lights.