Tax Increment Financing (TIF)

Tax Increment Financing (TIF)

TIF is the most consistently controversial subsidy we find in our work. Founded with noble intentions—diverting local property taxes to help revitalize slums—it has in many states mutated into a massive subsidy for politically connected developers. Trouble is, those big tax diversions are undermining school funding, as shown in our 2003 and 2021 reports on tax abatements and education. Plus TIF deals often fuel suburban sprawl. And some states don’t even pretend to target TIF to needy areas anymore: Virginia allows TIF districts any where they can “promote commerce and prosperity.” Read more about research TIFs in our Researcher's Guide here

 

See the Big Giveaway Index, our compilation of the most egregious scams and risky subsidies.