Those who believe that TIF or RIF funds are "free" money need to take a look at what is happening to taxpayers in extant TIF districts in Chicago.
Uptown Update's November 15 post displays a tax bill for a property in the Wilson Yard TIF District. As you can see, fully 71% of the amount goes to the TIF district, and away from the schools, the police department, the fire protection district, the libraries, the parks, and all the other critical services and public amenities that make Chicago a good place to live, work, and do business.
No wonder Chicago is having serious financial problems. We have over 160 extant TIF districts, with more being planned, notably the 49th Ward RIF that will cover the entire ward. Additionally, some TIFs are renewed when their 23-year term expires.
Was the Target store on Broadway worth diverting so much money from the municipal services that we need to have a safe and sanitary environment? Do the 200 or so jobs the store supplies offset the reductions in services and hikes in taxes and fees made necessary by the loss of tax revenues?
Remember, every dime allocated to a TIF comes out of city revenues. There's no such a thing as free money.