I got an e-mail from a reader telling me: you've got to see it to believe it, but the city made a movie about TIFs.
So I went online, and sure enough--there it is on YouTube for the whole world to see. They call it "What's a TIF?" Think of it as sort of a fantasy action flick, minus the action and heavy on close-ups of Mayor Rahm Emanuel appearing very solemn as he pledges to look out for the taxpayers.
Even as the tax increment financing program robs us blind.
I'll give them this: the movie is a step up from Mayor Daley's contribution to the genre of TIF primers. Speaking of fantasies, Daley's people gave us "The ABCs of TIF: Benefiting All of Chicago," a worksheet the city posted on its website and had its planners distribute at community meetings for the better part of the aughts. It included some outright whoppers. In contrast, "What's a TIF?" merely misleads by omitting key facts and explanations.