Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts suck up local property taxes and place them in slush funds controlled by mayors. This money is doled out to developers and other insiders for projects with little or no public merit. For every dollar of property tax that goes missing our units of local government - notably our public schools - suffer. We have no exact national tally of TIFs but they are found in 47 states. At the TIF Illumination Project (http://www.tifreports.com) in Chicago, we estimate that nationally some 5,000 TIF districts extract $20 BILLION in property taxes annually!