This post was contributed by a person who has attended several of our TIF town meetings. I work for a Chicago company that was the recipient of a $5 million dollar TIF grant. We got a building makeover, including a new roof, an upgrade to the electrical service, remodeled bathrooms, and advanced window coatings. Everything was done according to LEED guidelines,... Read more
Archive for the ‘Tax Scams’ Category
The Mayor has announced plans for hundreds of millions of dollars on tourism-related construction, including 10,000 seat basketball arena for DePaul University near McCormick Place. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the project will require $103 million in public finance and TIF-related dollars. Read DePaul’s description of the project. When you read the hype, you hear phrases like “world-class destination” and “tourism... Read more
Is your alderman on the list of sponsors of the Privatization Transparency Ordinance”? If so, call them and tell them to get it out of Alderman Mell’s committee and have voted on by the full City Council. The sponsor is 6th Ward Alderman, Roderick Sawyer. He said, upon introducing this bill in November of 2012, “I do not believe that there... Read more
So we are seeing a lot about the Bus Rapid Transit project being pushed aggressively by the city and an impressive list of policy, planning and transit organizations. But wait, who is going to PAY for this new public service, using our streets, the full power and authority of the CTA and the federal government? Check out this answer from their... Read more
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Alderman Dick Mell is blocking a vote on a bill that would make privatization deals in the city more transparent and S L O W them down. “Introduced last November by Alderman Roderick Sawyer (6th), the Privatization Transparency and Accountability Ordinance has been bottled up in Ald. Dick Mell’s (33rd) Rules Committee, even though a... Read more
Check out this comprehensive article on the Chicago Infrastructure Trust from Next City. CivicLab co-founder Tom Tresser is the voice of dissent in the piece. But the presence of the ad by Mayer Brown under the picture of the Mayer says it all.
How bad are Illinois’ finances? Would you believe bad enough to be called illegal by the SEC? According to The Chicago Tribune, “Illinois broke federal securities laws and “misled investors” in misstating the true health of the state’s depleted pension funds between 2005 and early 2009, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Monday…’Municipal investors are no less entitled to truthful... Read more
Does this area look blighted to you? Across the street from Lincoln Park? Really? This image is an early rendering of a luxury residence with shops and parking proposed for the former site of the Maryville Academy by JDL Development. As reported in DNAinfo Chicago, the Montrose/Clarendon TIF district would be drained of $32 million. What about using those property taxes... Read more
The sober analysts at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy issued a report in 2012 entitled “Rethinking Property Tax Incentives for Business.” They don’t waste any time cutting to the chase. “The use of property tax incentives for business by local governments throughout the United States has escalated over the last 50 years. While there is little evidence that these tax... Read more
From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch comes a story of a economic development deal gone very bad. A city showers a private company with tens of millions of dollars from the taxpayers in hopes of creating jobs. The company goes bust. Money disappears and the taxpayers are screwed. It can’t happen in Chicago, right?