TIF in Illinois is governed by this Statute:
(65 ILCS 5/Art. 11 Div. 74.4 heading)
DIVISION 74.4. TAX INCREMENT
ALLOCATION REDEVELOPMENT ACT
In order to declare a TIF district, there must be conditions of "blight" or "potential blight", and the determination must be made that "but-for" free money to developers the development would not occur.
Throughout Illinois the definition of "blight or potential blight" are taken to mean anything municipal rulers say it is. Poshy golf courses, corn fields, and the most expensive real estate in downtown Chicago have been declared blighted for purposes of TIF designation.
Judicial review is all but impossible to obtain by affected taxpayers.
As an aside, Google Illinois supreme court justice husband to get a glimpse of the incestuous corruption taken for granted in Illinois political industry.
"But-for" is a deliberately ambiguous condition of TIF designation, how can taxpayers prove that a development would not happen "but for" the gifts of free public money and land and public debt risk of bond issues?
Naturally there is virtually no development in Illinois that doesn't involve significant TIF funding.
Collar counties (ringing Chicago's Cook county) suffer property tax rates from 3% to over 5% of homes' fair market values, as abuse of TIF has made contributory development (buildings which must pay fair value property taxes) impossible. What fool would ever build in such startlingly high property tax rate regions without asking for public funds?
TIF and TIF law abuse by crony capitalists in the Illinois political industry can be blamed for much of the economic devastation of property values outside Chicago.
One thing they aren't wrong about: the entire State can truly be considered "blighted".