Transparent & Accountable Government Updates

Media Hit | Tax

Questions remain on infrastructure trust

A few days ago, the City Council passed an ordinance to establish the Chicago Infrastructure Trust — a nonprofit that will leverage private, for-profit investment for public infrastructure projects. Much of the recent attention has been on the lack of strong public protections to make the trust transparent and accountable to citizens. But there is a more fundamental question: Do we really need it?

News Release | Illinois PIRG | Tax

Infrastructure Trust Approved Without Proper Taxpayer Protections

Today the Chicago City Council voted 41-7 to establish the Chicago Infrastructure Trust, despite many continued, substantial concerns from aldermen, Illinois PIRG and other advocacy organizations, and members of the public.

Can we trust the Infrastructure Trust?

By | Celeste Meiffren
Field Director

The City Council is set to vote on the creation of the Infrastructure Trust at the City Council meeting on April 18, 2012. But right now, the ordinance that creates the Trust lacks basic public protections.

Media Hit | Tax

$7 Billion Public-Private Plan in Chicago Aims to Fix Transit, Schools and Parks

At a time when the nation is only beginning to pull itself painfully and delicately out of a deep recession, and when cities and states are cutting essential services and wondering how to keep the courthouses open and the lights on, an infrastructure proposal for a single city with an estimated cost in the billions — with a “b” — is audacious. Mr. Emanuel, in an interview, suggested that nothing less than this “integrated, comprehensive approach” will do for what he calls “building a new Chicago.”

News Release | Illinois PIRG | Tax

Public Needs More Details on How Infrastructure Program Will be Financed

Illinois PIRG field director, Celeste Meiffren, released a statement today, in response to Mayor Emanuel’s “Building a New Chicago” program announcement.

Report | Illinois PIRG Education Fund | Tax

Following the Money 2012

This report is Illinois PIRG Education Fund’s third annual ranking of states’ progress toward “Transparency 2.0” – a new standard of comprehensive, one-stop, one-click budget accountability and accessibility.

News Release | Illinois PIRG Education Fund | Tax

Illinois Receives a “B-” in Annual Report on Transparency of Government Spending

Illinois received a “B-“ when it comes to government spending transparency, according to Following the Money 2012: How the States Rank on Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data, the third annual report of its kind by the Illinois PIRG Education Fund.

Media Hit | Tax

We want our money back

Good-governance groups are fighting back against companies that take state subsidies and then head out of town.

"PIRG Releases report on TIF in Chicago"

By | Celeste Meiffren
Field Director

Our friends at Good Jobs First, the national leader in research on the impact of economic subsidies, blogged about our new report on tax increment financing (TIF) in Chicago...

$5 million tax refund

By | Celeste Meiffren
Field Director

On Monday, Bank of America returned more than $5 million in subsidies to the City of Chicago because it hadn't delivered on its goal of creating 2,700 jobs.

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