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Tax Increment Financing

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Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
3:45pm
Fri Aug 16, 2013

Local School Councils Continue Opposition To CPS Budget Cuts

With just 10 days left until students in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district head back to class, a number of local school councils (LSC) across the city have not yet approved their schools’ budget for next year.

“LSCs are elected officials and we have obligations to meet our third party contracts. We have obligations to provide our children with the highest quality education,” said Kate Schott Bolduc, head of the Common Sense Coalition of LSCs For Fair Funding and community representative on the LSC for James G. Blaine Elementary School. “The money allocated to us by CPS doesn’t allow us to do our job.”

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
10:57am
Thu Aug 8, 2013

CPS Students Launch 'Union', Demand Voice In District's Decision-Making Process (VIDEO)

A group of students enrolled in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district are demanding a seat at the table when school officials make decisions that impact their educational environment.

At a kick-off meeting Wednesday night, a small group of students announced the formation of the Chicago Student Union (CSU). The group aims to unite students from various grassroots organizations across the city, such as Chicago Students Organizing to Save Our Schools (CSOSOS) and Voices Of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE), to ensure students’ voices are heard during the school action decision-making process.

“We’ve all seen in our fights that we’ve been out-powered and out-spent by CPS. No matter how many marches we did, they still voted to close 50 schools and fired thousands of teachers,” said Ross Floyd, 16, a member of CSOSOS and co-founder of the CSU. “We have to come up with a new plan, and as any civil rights movement has shown us, when people come together they find strength in numbers.”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:49pm
Wed Aug 7, 2013

Far South Side Residents Demand More TIF Accountability At Town Hall Meeting

Far South Side residents were shocked to learn that the five tax increment financing (TIF) districts located in the 19th Ward sucked up $4.2 million, or about 11 percent, of their property tax dollars in 2011, according to data from the CivicLab.

Three of the TIF districts located 100 percent within the ward, which includes the Beverly, Mount Greenwood and Morgan Park neighborhoods, raked in a total of $24.9 million since their inception through the end of 2011. The three districts were created in 1994, 2001, and 2007.

The news was especially troubling to the approximately 30 residents who attended the CivicLab's 19th Ward  TIF Illumination Project meeting Tuesday night, seeing as though a portion of that money would have otherwise gone to the public school district and other government units were it not for the city’s controversial economic development program.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:40pm
Fri Aug 2, 2013

Parents Fire Back At CPS Over Budget Cuts At Riotous Public Hearing

A public hearing regarding the Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) proposed $5.6 billion budget for next year quickly escalated into angry shouting just minutes into the district’s financial presentation.

The planned budget for the 2013-2014 school year includes some $68 million in classroom cuts, including teacher layoffs, in an effort to help close the district’s reported $1 billion budget hole.

CPS Chief Administrative Officer Tim Cawley told the crowd that the district’s budget deficit is being driven largely by an increased pension payment it must make now that its three-year pension vacation has ended.

But the more than 100 community members at Thursday night's meeting, held at Truman College, were irritated by that answer, saying CPS should be looking into other revenue streams before making deep cuts to schools.

“How about TIFs,” one audience member shouted at Cawley, referring to tax increment financing (TIF) funds.

PI Original
by Ashlee Rezin
2:05pm
Wed Jul 31, 2013

Family Of CPS Students Refuses To Accept School Closure: 'I'm Not Sending My Grandkids Anyplace Else' (VIDEO)

Irene Robinson said she is taking her grandchildren to Anthony Overton Elementary School in the fall, despite the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district's decision to shutter the building for good last month. Overton Elementary, at 221 E. 49th St. in the Bronzeville neighborhood, is one of 50 schools the Chicago Board of Education voted to close as the district faces a massive budget deficit. Progress Illinois took a walk with Robinson and two of her grandchildren to what CPS has deemed to be their new welcoming school.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:40pm
Wed Jul 24, 2013

Aldermen Introduce TIF Surplus Ordinance, Wrigley Revamp Gets The OK At Bustling Council Meeting

Progress Illinois recaps some of the highlights from Wednesday's city council meeting.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
4:14pm
Fri Jul 19, 2013

CTU Blames CPS Budget Deficit, Layoffs On District's Failure To Raise Revenue (VIDEO)

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and officials from the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) have not shown a good faith effort to pursue revenue as a means of offsetting the district’s staggering deficit, according to Jesse Sharkey, vice president of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU).

Sharkey’s comments came during a media event Friday, in the wake of more than 2,000 layoffs in the school system, bringing the total to roughly 3,000 when it comes to the number of teacher and support staff personnel that have been laid off this summer thus far.

“The school district has lots of options,” Sharkey said. “If the mayor took the same amount of energy and initiative to pursue revenue for the schools that he’s taken to pursue revenue when it comes to an infrastructure trust, or that he’s taken when it comes to a river walk, bicycle program, NATO conference, and other things ... There’s a number of ways they could find revenue.”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:08pm
Fri Jul 19, 2013

Logan Square Residents Pledge To Keep The Heat On Chicago’s TIF Program

Activists at a Logan Square community meeting vowed to keep the attention on Chicago’s tax increment financing program (TIF) in light of harmful public school budget cuts and news of massive teacher layoffs Thursday night. 

Dozens of community members at the CivicLab’s Logan Square TIF meeting discussed ways to put more heat on city officials to declare a TIF surplus as a means to help plug the school district’s reported $1 billion budget deficit. The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), Raise Your Hand For Illinois Public Education, some elected officials and other local groups have been pushing the mayor to declare a surplus as a means to help financially stabilize the school district.  

“The city intentionally obscures how our property taxes are used to subsidize projects for private business. Our tax money is used to create private wealth,” said Marilena Marchetti, a Logan Square resident and CTU member. “Given the situation our school district is in, this makes no sense at all.”

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