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Shining a light on TIFs in Chicago

I did a recent analysis of the City of Chicago’s website responsible for providing the public information on Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and found that critical information is missing, leaving the public in the dark on how tax dollars are spent. The analysis, compiled in a report called, “Shining a Light on Tax Increment Financing … Continue reading

Is TIF reform on the horizon?

Yesterday, Mayor Emanuel’s TIF Task Force released their recommendations for how to improve the transparency and accountability of TIFs in Chicago. The full report can be found here. Overall, I am impressed with their recommendations. These recommendations, if implemented properly, would increase accountability for TIF spending by establishing clear goals and performance monitoring, increase oversight … Continue reading

Chicago budget hearings next week

Mayor Rahm Emanuel will be holding two public hearings about Chicago’s 2012 budget next week. The hearings will be held on Monday at 6pm at Kennedy King College (740 W. 63rd St.) and Wednesday at 6pm at Malcolm X College (1900 W. Jackson Blvd). Mayor Emanuel has been encouraging public comments around the budget since … Continue reading

Transparency discussion

The article “Opening government, the Chicago way,” has a fascinating take on how Chicago can use innovation and technological know-how to make the City more transparent, and encourage more engagement from Chicagoans. Here’s an excerpt: “There’s a long road ahead for open government in Chicago — the legacy of corruption, fraud and graft in City … Continue reading

Inspector General talks transparency

Last night, in a forum about Mayor Emanuel’s first 100 days, Inspector General Joseph Ferguson said this: “What you’ve seen is a new day in some respect in driving a great deal of the transparency issue, putting forth into the public domain a lot of information that has existed and been available, but has not … Continue reading

Close Corporate Tax Loopholes

Abuse of tax loopholes inflicts a price on taxpayers, who must pay more taxes- now, or in the future- to cover the government’s revenue shortfall, or must deal with cuts in government services. In Chicago, we are facing a $635 million budget shortfall for next year. Certainly, big corporations should be paying their fair share. … Continue reading