Mark Brown knows: "The guy who really knows how to explain TIFs is Ben Joravsky, the columnist from the Chicago Reader who has made it a personal crusade. Check out his past columns on the subject if you're interested in learning more right away." Indeed.
Some side notes:
* $21 million by imposing a ten-cent tax on each container of bottled water: Maybe I'm drinking the industry's Kool-Aid, but I believed them when they said they're not competing against tap water, they're competing against soda. It'd be swell if everyone carried refillable water bottles around and stuff, but taxing one of the healthiest things you can get in a plastic bottle seems stupid.
* $6.4 million by raising the cost of a city sticker for SUV owners from $90 to $120: I'm given to schadenfreude, so take it with a grain of salt when I say I got no beef with this--they take up more space on the streets and in parking areas, they make driving harder for people in smaller cars, they're a greater threat to pedestrians (since the engine block is the height of your internal organs instead of your knees), and because they're so much higher than normal cars their lights are a distraction.
* $1.5 million by imposing a 15-cent development fee on every square foot of buildable floor area: Can someone explain this one to me?