Wednesday, July 12, 2006


City proposes $550M LaSalle Street TIF

Crain's--After months of rumors, the Daley Administration formally proposed to designate a 40-block section centering on LaSalle Street south of the river as a tax increment financing (TIF) district.

The city did not immediately spell out who would get money or in what amounts. But under an overview proposal submitted to the Community Development Commission, at least $550 million in property-tax receipts would be diverted from the Board of Education and other local governments over the next 23 years and instead be used to clear land, subsidize new building and redevelopment, and pay for public projects in the area, possibly a proposed Monroe Street express busway.

Another $200 million is allotted for rehabilitation of existing buildings, with $50 million for property assembly.

The projects would be funded by growth of property-tax receipts within the TIF area. The city argues that much of that growth would not occur if not for the subsidies, but some civic groups have argued that it is not wise policy to strip schools of even inflationary growth in tax receipts. More...


Blogger Paradise said...

Do our fearless leaders ever make a connection between the increasing shortfalls in the city and school budgets, and the taxes being diverted by the 130+ TIF districts in this city?

I am right now reading everything I can find on the results of TIFs in cities and towns across the country, and what is beginning to emerge is that they break a city financially, with very little offsetting development. The more TIFs a city has, the less money it has. The smaller and poorer a city is, the more financially destructive the TIFs are, in spite of the fact that the justification for a TIF is that it is supposed to cure blight and disinvestment.

It's too bad we have to have blue-ribbon studies to figure out what anybody who can reason in a straight line can see, which is that the more taxes we divert from public purposes to private development, the less will be available for city services, resulting in tax increases that raise the costs of living and doing business in the city.

What's worse, the TIFs are not allowed to expire, so the city never gets the benefit of the development, and the rest of the taxpayers foot the larger bill.

How do we stop the TIF and tax abatement jauggurnaut when the state has legislated in favor of the creation of TIF districts?

Where do we start? The only thing I can think of to do is to attack these things at the root, at the state level, which looks hopeless, because our leaders are so convinced of the econmomic benefits of these giveaways, and moreoever are afraid that if they don't offer these 'gimmes' to private interests, another state will?

So how do we fight these things? Does anyone have any ideas?

7:17 AM  

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