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Moving Day!

Tax Dollars and Sense has moved to Illinois PIRG’s website. You can now read and subscribe to the blog at http://illinoispirg.org/blogs/ilp/tax-dollars-sense.   Advertisements

Case Study: Republic Windows and Doors

Every week, Tax Dollars and Sense offers a case study to analyze the problems with TIF. This week we will look at the Republic Windows and Doors project within the Goose Island TIF District. Tax-increment financing provides potentially lucrative subsidies that benefit developers. In return for the benefits they receive, developers should commit to delivering … Continue reading

Recommended Resolutions for Rahm in 2012

We all know that 2011 has been a huge year for Chicago’s new mayor. He won an election, created task forces, passed his first budget, and put tons of information online (among other things). But despite all of the check marks on his giant checklist, his work is far from over. Here are some recommendations … Continue reading

Burned by Sears?

Illinois lawmakers are up in arms about Sears’ announcement to close 120 Sears and Kmart stores nationally. It’s hard to see a company that Illinois taxpayers just gave $150 million in tax breaks start laying people off and closing stores. That being said, Sears is not actually breaking the agreement that it has with the … Continue reading

Money for Something

The following is a joint press release from Illinois PIRG and Good Jobs First States are spending billions of dollars per year on corporate tax credits, cash grants and other economic development subsidies that often require little if any job creation and lack wage and benefit standards covering workers at subsidized companies. These are the … Continue reading

$100 million tax break

Today, the Illinois Legislature will most likely pass Senate Bill 397 and approve a tax break for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the Chicago Board of Exchange (CBOE) to the tune of $100 million a year. (For more about exactly how the bill works, go here). This bill is moving after a year of … Continue reading

The Super Committee should be super open

Our nation faces enormous fiscal challenges. As part of the deal that was recently struck to raise America’s debt ceiling, Congress established a new Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to narrow the total budget gap by $1.5 trillion over the next decade. This “Super Committee” must report its findings by Thanksgiving, and if a … Continue reading

We’ve run out of road

Mayor Emanuel said a lot of things right in his budget address today. After years of short-term fixes and budget gimmicks that Mayor Daley used to maintain the status quo, this budget feels like a breath of fresh air. The City of Chicago is facing a budget deficit of $635 million. Mayor Emanuel is proposing … Continue reading

Recycling competition

The “managed competition” recycling experiment officially starts today in Chicago– where public employees will go head to head with private contractors to determine who can deliver the most efficient, cost-effective recycling service for the City of Chicago. The competition is set to last six months, and the winner will provide the entire city with recycling– … Continue reading

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