Transparent & Accountable Government Updates

Tip for Rahm: Don't be Daley

By | Celeste Meiffren
Field Director

No one will argue with the fact that Chicago’s budget situation is dire—and has been for some time now. But Mayor Daley masked the drastic fiscal situation in Chicago with year after year of short-term budget gimmicks. The hope now is that, as he puts forth his first budget proposal next week, Mayor Emanuel will learn from his predecessor’s mistakes, and avoid a lot of the budget shenanigans that Mayor Daley was known for.

TIFs and Charities

By | Celeste Meiffren
Field Director

The newly released Chicago Inspector General report, "Review of TIF Public Benefits Clauses and Charitable Donations," is another example of why we need more transparency of tax increment financing in Chicago.

Recycling Competition

By | Celeste Meiffren
Field Director

The "managed competition" recycling experiment officially starts today in Chicago-- where public employees will go head to head with private contractors to determine who can deliver the most efficient, cost-effective recycling service for the City of Chicago.

Midway Airport Lease Resurgence

By | Celeste Meiffren
Field Director

Is the deal to lease Midway Airport to a private company coming back?

Are TIFs Really Worth It?

By | Celeste Meiffren
Field Director

Yesterday, Chicago's Inspector General, Joseph Ferguson, released a report, "Budget Options for the City of Chicago," detailing a grab bag of solutions to Chicago's ailing budget-- to the tune of almost $3 billion. His recommendations include several options to increase revenue, increase efficiency and cut waste.

A More Transparent Cook County

By | Celeste Meiffren
Field Director

Yesterday, Cook County released an unprecedented amount of data on their website: http://data.cookcountyil.gov/.

Using the same technology as the City of Chicago's Data Portal, Cook County has posted data related to economic development, county finances, public safety, property and taxation, and more.

Unlikely Allies

By | Celeste Meiffren
Field Director

The time for denial is over. The Congressional “Super Committee” is already at work with a mandate under law and big cuts are coming. For too long politicians have called for deficit reduction without the political courage to say specifically where the money would come from. Politicians tend to hide behind proposals for across-the-board cuts without actually distinguishing between public priorities and wasteful spending.

$1 Trillion

By | Celeste Meiffren
Field Director

To break through the ideological divide that has dominated Washington this past year and offer a pathway to address the nation’s fiscal problems, the National Taxpayers Union and Illinois PIRG joined together to identify mutually acceptable deficit reduction.

Do you live in a TIF District?

By | Celeste Meiffren
Field Director

Want to know if you live in a TIF district?

The Cook County Clerk, David Orr, has a TIF property search function on his website to let people know, not only if their property is within a TIF district, but also how much of their property taxes goes to the TIF.

Lessons from the parking meter deal

By | Celeste Meiffren
Field Director

Chicago Reader writer Mick Dumke's story yesterday, "Rahm Emanuel's shifting views of the parking meter deal," provides a detailed time line of how Mayor Emanuel has changed his tune time and time again in regards to the parking meter deal. First, he admits that it was a bad deal, but claims that it's too late to do anything. Then, as the election gets into high gear, he says that the deal should be renegotiated. Then, most recently, during his interview on "Chicago Tonight" last week, he said that the parking meter deal "offends him," but there is nothing to be done about it.

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