tax increment financing (TIF) program may operate on a smaller scale
compared to the city of Chicago’s controversial economic development
program, but it too has major transparency and accountability flaws,
suburban residents said at a town hall meeting Sunday.
TIF districts in Oak Park sucked up $164 million in property tax revenue
since their inception up until the end of 2012, according to an
analysis by the CivicLab, a Chicago-based non-profit focused on
providing citizens with data and tools for civic engagement.
2012 alone, Oak Park’s three TIF districts took in $10.6 million in tax
revenue, and the village spent almost $7 million of that money,
the CivicLab found.
“I hope somewhere there is a spreadsheet that
tells you what (the village) did with that money, and if there isn’t,
you need to go get it, in my opinion,” the CivicLab’s co-founder Tom
Tresser told about 15 community members at the meeting.
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