TIF (Tax Increment Financing) has benefited the wealthy in Chicago while leaving an insurmountable tax debt for the lower and middle class. It is time for serious TIF Reform.
As Alderman, encouraging business development in our ward will be a top priority. That development must have a positive effect on the community and ensure that it’s diversity and culture remain intact.
- EMPOWER THE TAXPAYERS by demanding approval on all TIF development. The city council must create a specific and unalterable definition of what constitutes a “blighted” neighborhood so that no more money is inappropriately filtered to wealthy areas.
- DOCUMENTING COMMUNITY IMPROVEMENT PLANS that outline the beneficial developments in our ward. TIF recipients must present to the ward concrete plans prior to approval as it is the community that is taking the real risk.
- REMOVE LOOPHOLES that allow businesses using TIF funds to buy their way out of restrictions intended to maintain the character of our community. Gentrification, homelessness and public school closures have already impacted our communities as a result of TIF allotment.
- DEMAND FULL TRANSPARENCY from the city regarding the appropriation of all funds.The taxpayers deserve a regular accounting of tax dollars spent versus revenue generated from TIF projects. A promise is not good enough anymore. TIF has left other cities drowning in billions of dollars of debt due to mismanagement of funds.
Our community thrives when we are all working, when we are able to shop within our neighborhood, and when we have affordable housing. TIF was supposed to be the answer to that, but like so many states before us, political cronyism, mismanagement, and quid pro quo have become the norm. TIFs are not used for “blighted” areas, but rerouted from the general purpose fund into pet projects of the Mayor’s. Routing 55 million in TIF funds to renovate Navy Pier, or to building luxury hotels downtown, is a fraud perpetrated on the taxpayers of our city.