One citizen's take on the Dick that makes Chicago tick.


Friday, July 24, 2009


A recent article in The Economist cites Chicago as an example of Tax Increment Financing run amok:
The bravura of this last vision suggests how TIFs can get out of hand. Chicago now has 158 such zones, covering 29% of its land and 13% of its property by value. Mike Jasso of the city’s community-development department says that businesses were leaving Chicago’s Loop before it became a TIF district in the 1980s; now the zone is thriving. Others are much more sceptical, contending that many successful TIF schemes are in areas that would have attracted investment anyway. Rachel Weber, of the University of Illinois at Chicago, thinks TIFs make Chicago’s “dysfunctional system of quid-pro-quo politics more dysfunctional”. Every local politician wants a TIF in his district, and developers are eager to contribute to campaigns in the hope of securing support for their projects. In April the city council passed a measure that will, at the very least, increase transparency.
It's always good to get mentioned in a prominent international publication, right Mayor Daley?

comic via Married to the Sea

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