Transparent & Accountable Government Updates

Report | Illinois PIRG Education Fund | Tax

Cleaning Up Tax Increment Financing

 

Every year, $500 million worth of property tax revenue collected in Chicago flows into funding pools shielded from public scrutiny and democratic control—the bank accounts of the city’s Tax-Increment Financing (TIF) districts.  That money—10 percent of Chicago’s annual property tax revenue—is intended to promote development in struggling areas of the city, but the fashion in which it has been handled in the past—without full transparency, democratic oversight, or accountability for the recipients of funds—has opened the door to misuse of public money.

 

News Release | Illinois PIRG | Tax

Progress Report: Promised Reforms to Protect Chicago Tax Dollars ‘Incomplete’

 

Yesterday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that he will be immediately implementing some of the reforms proposed by his TIF Reform Panel five months ago. Today, watchdog group Illinois PIRG released a report on the need to fix TIF and called for all of the Mayor’s recommendations to become law.

 

What could go wrong?

By | Celeste Meiffren
Field Director

Today, the Chicago City Council voted 41-5 to give Mayor Emanuel more authority to enter into contracts for goods, work and services with respect to the G8 and NATO summits this Spring.

Case Study: Republic Windows and Doors

By | Celeste Meiffren
Field Director

Every week, Tax Dollars and Sense offers a case study to analyze the problems with TIF. This week we will look at the Republic Windows and Doors project within the Goose Island TIF District.

Case Study: The Central Loop TIF District

By | Celeste Meiffren
Field Director

Every week, Tax Dollars and Sense will offer a case study to analyze the problems with TIF. This series will start with the most famous TIF district-- the Central Loop.

Recommended Resolutions for Rahm in 2012

By | Celeste Meiffren
Field Director

Here are some recommendations for what Rahm’s New Year’s Resolutions ought to be so City Hall gets the reform that it needs.

Burned by Sears?

By | Celeste Meiffren
Field Director

Illinois lawmakers are up in arms about Sears' announcement to close 120 Sears and Kmart stores nationally.

Job creation

By | Celeste Meiffren
Field Director

Last week, the Chicago Community Development Commission approved a tax increment financing project that will "create" 500-650 permanent jobs lasting ten years by relocating Sara Lee's meat division, MeatCo’s headquarters. The project is going to cost Chicago taxpayers up to $6.5 million dollars.

Money for something

By | Celeste Meiffren
Field Director

States are spending billions of dollars per year on corporate tax credits, cash grants and other economic development subsidies that often require little if any job creation and lack wage and benefit standards covering workers at subsidized companies. These are the key findings of Money for Something: Job Creation and Job Quality Standards in State Economic Development Subsidy Programs, a 51-state “report card” study published by Good Jobs First, a non-profit, non-partisan research center based in Washington, DC.

Progress report: TIF reform

By | Celeste Meiffren
Field Director

It has been over 90 days (93 to be exact) since Mayor Emanuel's TIF Task Force released their recommendations on how to reform the broken system of economic development. And when they did, the Mayor said that he planned to fully implement them.

So, how much progress has been made so far? Very little.

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