The 11 tax increment financing, or TIF, districts in the 4th Ward
took $5.6 million in property taxes from those living within the
boundaries in 2011, the CivicLab revealed at TIF town hall meeting
Four of those districts fall nearly 100 percent
inside of the ward and had extracted about $42 million from property
taxpayers since the start of the TIF program back in 1986 through 2011, said Tom Tresser,
co-founder of the CivicLab and leader of the of volunteer-based TIF Illumination Project.
TIF town hall was the CivicLab’s eighth community meeting. Tresser and
other “TIF illuminators” are holding meetings across the city in an
effort to raise awareness about Chicago’s economic development program.
The CivicLab's project sets out to find what wards are TIF "winners" or
Craig Coleman, a 10-year resident of the 4th Ward, said
Monday night was the first time he heard exactly how much property tax dollars
local residents had kicked into the program. He raised concerns about
the TIF program’s lack of accountability and transparency.
think it’s money off the books that should be put back on the books,”
Coleman said in remarks after the meeting, held at Room 43 in Kenwood.
“How do you change it, and does your alderman control this or ... who
controls the law to change this? When it’s time for the mayoral
elections, does it get swept under the rug like everything else?”