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Tax Increment Financing


Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Tue Apr 23, 2013

Uptown Residents Decry Proposed $220 Million Luxury Housing Development At 46th Ward Zoning Meeting

Opponents of a planned $220 million luxury residential building in Uptown were ignored and not permitted to ask the 46th Ward’s Zoning and Development Committee questions about the project at its meeting Monday night.

Members of the advisory committee, put in place by Ald. James Cappleman (46th), adjourned its monthly meeting at Weiss Memorial Hospital despite multiple people who had waited patiently with their hands raised to comment on the plan, which calls for 842 mostly high-income units.

“We are totally opposed to this plan,” Marc Kaplan of Northside Action for Justice shouted as some committee members quickly filed past him out of the the hospital’s auditorium.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Fri Apr 12, 2013

CivicLab Highlights Questionable TIF Projects In Uptown

The city’s tax increment financing, or TIF, program is an economic development tool, but it should really be called a Chicago bailout for private companies, some Uptown residents said at a town hall meeting Thursday night as part of the CivicLab’s TIF Illumination Project.

“Why don’t we call (TIF) Chicago welfare,” 46th Ward resident Ryne Poelker asked at the meeting held at the Peoples Church of Chicago. “Why don’t they call it a bailout?”

Property taxpayers in the 46th Ward paid out about $87.6 million for TIF projects in the area since the inception of the program under former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington through 2010, according to the CivicLab’s data analysis.

More than half of that money went to private developers for projects such as the Wilson Yard, a retail space at 4400 N. Broadway Ave., that houses a Target, Aldi grocery store and low-income housing units. The project received more than $50 million in TIF funds, according to the CivicLab.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Mon Apr 8, 2013

South Side Residents Question TIF Use In 8th and 9th Wards At Town Hall Meeting

Chicago’s tax increment financing, or TIF, program is intended to spur economic development and create jobs in neighborhoods that need it most.

But more than 50 South Side residents questioned the program's impact upon learning this weekend that millions of property tax dollars were diverted from local schools and other units of government and awarded to private companies.

“Even though they’re for blighted areas, we find that places in the city are using TIF money, like the Central Business District and LaSalle Street,” Tom Tresser, co-founder of the CivicLab, said at a TIF town hall meeting Saturday at Chicago State University.

PI Original
by Ashlee Rezin
Fri Apr 5, 2013

CTU Takes Lawmakers On Eye-Opening Bus Tour Of Communities Affected By School Closures (VIDEO)

The Chicago Teachers Union led a bus tour of blighted neighborhoods slated for school actions Thursday, providing legislators, stakeholders and members of the press with a first-hand glimpse of communities they say are being “destabilized” by Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) school closures.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Tue Apr 2, 2013

Town Hall Meeting Illuminates TIF Use In Chicago's 7th Ward

Dozens of South Shore residents weren’t too happy upon learning that a portion of their property taxes have been used as part of the city’s tax increment financing, or TIF, program.

Tom Tresser, co-founder of the CivicLab, came to the 7th Ward, and is heading to others, as part of the volunteer-based TIF Illumination Project, which is intended to promote TIF transparency and provide Chicago residents with a snapshot of what the program is — or isn’t — doing for their communities.  

“I can’t believe that it’s so much money that’s out there that the community does not know about that’s not channeling back into our community, especially with all the schools closing,” Renita Jones, a South Shore resident of more than 14 years, said after Saturday's meeting.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
Mon Mar 18, 2013

Town Hall Meeting Illustrates Lack Of Communication With Taxpayers On TIF Projects

Taxpayers are largely kept out of the loop when it comes to how their property taxes are used by tax increment finance (TIF) districts, according to Tom Tresser, co-founder of the Civic Lab.

Aiming to promote transparency in government and give residents background information on neighborhood TIF projects, the Civic Lab and the TIF Ad Hoc Committee of the Washington Park Community hosted a town hall meeting at the Washington Park Field House Saturday.<--break->

Quick Hit
by Brandon Campbell
Fri Sep 14, 2012

Day 4 Of CTU Strike Targets Pritzker, Use Of TIF Funds

A thread of optimism ran through Thursday, the fourth day of the Chicago teachers’ strike, as both the union and the school board hinted that a deal could be reached by Friday, with a possibility of children heading back to school as early as Monday.

That optimism also extended to yet another downtown rally that brought an estimated 3,000 picketing teachers and supporters outside the Hyatt Regency Hotel at 151 E. Wacker late Thursday afternoon.

Later, the group, lead by a marching band from Morgan Park High School, rallied at a park near Congress Parkway and Michigan Avenue.

There, speakers railed against Chicago School Board member Penny Pritzker, who they say received $5.2 million in TIF – tax increment financing – dollars for a Hyde Park Hotel. The Pritzker family owns the Hyatt Hotel chain. Recently, a group of Chicago teachers called for Penny Pritzker to step down from the school board.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
Wed Aug 8, 2012

Chicagoans Rally Against $29.5 Million River Point TIF Subsidy (VIDEO)

Chanting “TIf money’s our money,” and carrying signs that read “Corporate Welfare is breaking Chicago’s back,” more than 100 protesters marched through downtown Chicago yesterday to protest the allocation of $29.5 million in tax increment financing (TIF) for a corporate tower in the West Loop.

“This money is cut right off the top of our property taxes, and we need to reinvest it in areas other than the Loop,” said Rita Pope, a resident of Evanston who was born in North Lawndale. Pope volunteers for the Organization of the North East and helped pass out flyers during Tuesday’s protest.