“As the city considers changes to its TIF policy, the key will be striking the right balance, Mayor Michael Brennan said.”  – “City reflects on tax breaks,” Portland Press Herald, Aug. 6

Strange lights and sounds have been observed coming from the basement of Portland City Hall on recent nights. It all stems from the City Council’s dissatisfaction with the recent spate of TIF (Tax Increment Financing) projects.

Critics say that developers use the TIFs to gain economic concessions the city shouldn’t be giving away for new projects. But if TIFs are abandoned, what will replace them?

Thus, the mystifying late-night clangor. Apparently, new proposals are being brought forth to replace TIFS. Such as …

Projects where Portland is snookered into some deal that goes terribly, terribly wrong:

City Loses Investment Financing: CLIF

Projects associated with land grabs that will later be overturned in court:

Smells Nearly Illegal Financing: SNIF

Projects involving extremely tall towers or dirigible bases, and which the city has to decide on within twelve hours:

Just Idiotic Financing: JIF

Projects where the city is paying out forever after the developer skips town:

Shucks, This is Irritating Financing: STIF

Projects nobody supports but which happen anyway:

Whose Horrible Idea? Financing: WHIF

Every other project you can think of:

Has Anyone Noticed Developers Keep Expecting “R” City Has Infinitely Elastic Financing: HANDKERCHIEF