Brookfield’s Ogden Avenue Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District built on its record return in 2018, generating 9 percent more revenue in 2019.

That information was included in Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough’s annual TIF report for Chicago and its suburbs released on Aug. 6. The report revealed that the region’s TIF districts as a whole generated a record 11.5-percent increase in revenue year over year, totaling $1.3 billion, to redevelop obsolete and blighted commercial and industrial areas.

The biggest gains, Yarbrough reported, were seen in north and northwest suburban TIF districts, whose properties were reassessed in 2019. 

In the west and southwest suburbs, like Brookfield, revenues remained relatively flat year over year. But that was still good news for Brookfield, where two of its four TIF districts generated $573,557 combined.

TIFs were conceived to spur redevelopment of obsolete and blighted commercial and industrial areas that, without a mechanism to fund infrastructure improvements or provide developers with incentives for doing so, would remain blighted and obsolete.

Creating a TIF district freezes property assessment levels within the district for all local taxing bodies for 23 years. 

As property assessments rise over time within a TIF district, the incremental revenue resulting from those increases is sequestered in a special TIF fund. Those funds can only be used for expenses related to redevelopment within the TIF district.

The Ogden Avenue TIF, created by the village in 2008, stretches from Custer Avenue to Eberly Avenue and includes almost every property on Ogden Avenue. 

The TIF fund generated $393,493 in 2019. That was a 9-percent jump in revenue compared to 2018, when the Ogden TIF brought in $362,427.

That 2018 total was a breakthrough for a TIF district that had spent most of the prior decade generating next to nothing as a result of the Great Recession that followed the 2008 economic collapse.

The 2018 revenue generated by the Ogden Avenue TIF was a 634-percent increase over 2017. With last year’s revenue now on the books, the Ogden Avenue TIF has generated $1.38 million since its inception.

That money has been used over the years to purchase property on Ogden Avenue and to buy property in the 4000 block of DuBois Boulevard that paved way for the creation of the Congress Park TIF in 2011.

The Congress Park TIF, which consists entirely of village-owned, tax-exempt land, has not generated any incremental revenue. The village has attempted, and so far has been unsuccessful, in attracting a developer for the site.

But, Brookfield continues to invest in the Congress Park TIF via loans from the Ogden Avenue TIF. The village recently sought bids for the first phase of a renovation project for the Congress Park Metra station area, which will be funded in part by a loan from the Ogden Avenue TIF.

The Ogden Avenue TIF fund will also be tapped to pay for a comprehensive planning study for the Ogden Avenue corridor.

The other revenue-generating TIF district in the village is the one created in 2016 at Eight Corners. In 2019, the TIF generated $180,064, about 6 percent less than 2018.

Still, the Eight Corners TIF has generated $603,147 since 2016. That money has gone toward demolishing the village-owned former Brookfield Bowl property and could be used to help spur redevelopment of that site.

The TIF funds have also funded streetscape improvements in the Eight Corners business district, like decorative street lights and could be used to overhaul the fountain at Veterans Memorial Circle.

The Grand Boulevard TIF District, created in January to help spur redevelopment in Brookfield’s downtown, has not yet recorded any incremental revenue.