Please put the remote down and read the following link. http://www.chicagoreader.com/features/stories/theworks/060908/ Ben Joravsky has been beating the drum about the TIFs in Chicago for a long as I have known him. TIFs are spreading to the suburban areas like wildfire. Ben writes for the Chicago Reader under The Works. Ben is a very sharp writer on top of the TIFs better than anyone. We have brought up on this site about Mayor Daley & Company’s miss use of the “borrow from Peter, to Pay Paul” for a while. This is the history of Ben’s good work …. http://www.chicagoreader.com/tifarchive/ Please see Illinoize. Patrick McDonough
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‘Startling’: Chicago TIFs collect $500 mil.
BUDGET DRAIN? | Tax districts too secret, critic says
November 16, 2007
BY STEVE PATTERSON Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
They collect more than $800 million a year — more than most governments in Illinois — but critics say too little is known about how special taxing districts spend all that money.
Most of that — $500 million — comes from Chicago alone.
Tax increment financing districts are established in hopes of encouraging development in select areas. Tax rates on properties and developments stay at current levels for years afterward. Revenue generated beyond those levels goes into special TIF coffers, which are largely spent at the discretion of a city administrator, like Mayor Daley.
That keeps those new revenues from going to school districts and other governments — which critics say inevitably leads to tax increases to cover spending.
TIF critic Mike Quigley said seeing $500 million diverted from taxing bodies to special city coffers is “startling.”
“And one person’s deciding how all of that is spent,” the Cook County commissioner said. “We don’t know enough about how it’s being spent.”
City Planning Department spokesman Pete Scales said the city has been transparent on how TIF funds are spent and said TIFs have generated $8.3 billion in private development, compared with $1.5 billion in public spending to establish those areas. “They’re an incredible development tool for us,” he said
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