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Aldermen Push For TIF Reform

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Chicago City Hall (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (WBBM) – A group of Chicago aldermen, along with the Chicago Teachers Union and some community groups, rallied at City Hall Tuesday to push a move to allocate surplus TIF money to go back into the budget.

It’s a move to take surplus, unallocated money from tax increment financing districts and place it in the budget – to go to the neighborhoods – Ald. Proco Joe Moreno (1st) said.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports

“When you ask a public official why you can’t have a new park and they say there’s no money, you say, ‘Where’s my TIF money?'” Moreno said. “And when you ask a public official why you can’t have a new library and they say there’s no money, you say, ‘Where’s my TIF money?'”

In a TIF district, property tax dollars for schools, parks, and other taxing districts are frozen for at least 23 years, so that all property tax increases afterward to go into a fund to improve struggling neighborhoods.

The city currently has hundreds of millions of dollars of unallocated TIF money sitting in various TIF districts.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has already taken steps to reform the city’s TIF program – but he has resisted using unallocated TIF money to balance the budget – saying it’s a one-time fix.

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