Truth about TIF or Tax increment financing.
TIF stands for Tax Increment Financing. It is something that has become very big in Chicago and is a creative economic tool. The problem in Chicago, is that it has unfortunately been misused. You have to understand what TIF money is. It is tax increment financing, that is just another property tax. It is a designated area that the city set’s up and so money there from your property tax goes into the TIF fund. Not to the other property tax agencies like the schools, the park district or the city.
One of the things the current mayor Rahm Emanuel claims is he came in and he made it very transparent – Totally Untrue #Rahmyth. The best researchers I can find, the best researchers the Chicago Tribune & Chicago Sun-Times have an extraordinarily hard time really tracking all that money. We are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars! This is money coming out of all of Chicago property taxpayers, atleast those in a TIF. That is a lot of money and because of that, other agencies like the schools have had to raise more money to pay for their budgets.
Over the years $6 Billion dollars, $6,000,000,000 going to the TIF, that means roughly $3 BILLION dollars have been siphoned from the Chicago public schools, because almost 50% of every property tax dollar goes to the schools.
Way too much money has been spent downtown. We want a vibrant downtown, we appreciate it, but this money needs to be going to Chicago’s neighborhoods. Chuy Garcia supports a more balanced spending approach. Rahm on the other hand, he wants to spend $55 million dollars for the Marriot Hotel from this TIF money, which in turn is going to Ken Griffin, who is a billionaire & has given enormous amounts back to Rahm Emanuel. That’s classic pay to play politics.
If your a neighborhood person or with the mental health centers and you see $55 MILLION dollars just going to one activity downtown, you might rightly ask, wait a second couldn’t that help my local school? This is the difference between Chuy Garcia who understands neighborhoods, how this money should be spent, and Rahm who is pay to play and helps his friends.