Tom Tresser, co-founder of The Civic Lab, has spent years tracking TIF funds and how they’re used, misused, and/or not used. His research shows that the City currently has over $1 billion in available TIF funds, money that came from our property taxes and could now be spent to relieve the ongoing school-funding crisis or be put toward other taxpayer priorities.
Tom is seeking signatures on a petition demanding that all available TIF funds be returned to the proper governmental unit to serve their original purpose.
The TIF program, designed to help build infrastructure across the City, particularly in poor and underserved areas, has instead been used by both Mayor Daley and Mayor Emanuel to help private corporations and real estate developers. One recent example is the Montrose-Clarendon development, which would give $16 million in TIF funds to a private developer for a 381-unit building at Montrose & Clarendon. Only 20 of those apartments would be set aside as subsidized housing for current neighborhood residents.
Please join your fellow Chicagoans in signing this important petition. Help Tom get your money back!
For more information on the Montrose-Clarendon development, see the City’s Web site, which contains links to both the Community Development Commission and City Plan Commission staff reports. And don’t miss Ben Joravsky’s December 2013 column in The Reader that tackles the issue of TIF funding for both an earlier version of the Montrose-Clarendon project and other sites.