Monday, February 23, 2009

Sun-Times Editorial: TIFs Are "Mayor Daley's Piggy Bank"

The Sun-Times has a great editorial today supporting Ald. Waguespack's and Flores' proposal to shine some light into the dark and greedy world of Chicago TIFs. "[I]t's the kind of debate you'll rarely hear because the city's TIF deals are far from transparent."

Opening a Window on Daley's Piggy Bank

When homeowners hear the phrase "tax increment financing districts" -- also known as TIF districts -- their eyes glaze over, if they know about them at all.

We admit it. TIFs are about as sexy as Alan Greenspan in a Speedo.

So to keep your attention, we're going to call them what they really are: Mayor Daley's private piggy bank.

Essentially, TIF districts allow the mayor to use hundreds of millions of dollars from the property taxes you and your neighbors pay for what he would like done in town.

With amazingly little oversight.

Read the entire editorial here. Comments are open! This is an excellent opportunity to spread the word about Wilson Yard's "far from transparent" TIF and the community's efforts to fix it; maybe the Sun-Times will be open to listening.


  1. Anyone have a direct number for Patrick Fitzgerald?

  2. Phones? Where we're going we don't need phones?

    patrick.j.fitzgerald -at-

  3. I got a shovel ready project for Obama, how about shoveling some of this crap out of here for us.

  4. I think Fitzgerald actually responds to prayer.

  5. Yet more ammunition for FWY!
    City Hall is NOT gonna like this!
    Everyone, wave to Helen and Peter!

  6. Th TIF'S fit is about to hit the shan.

  7. As if no one knew that TIF's are Mayor Daley's (& most all aldermens') piggy bank. Tell us something new!

  8. Call me a cynic but I don't think much is going to come of this. It will either die a short death in committee or emerge as something totally unrecognizable.

    Daley squashed a precursor to the kind of information that Everyblock now offers.

    Everyone these days is talking about how sunlight is the best disinfectant. Extending the "clean house" metaphor further, folks are apt to forget that even headless cockroaches can live for a week!!! So, not only do you need to open the (Republic) windows & doors to let the light in but you've got to figure out a way to starve out the cockroaches as well!!

    Is that kind of change really going to come from within? I don't think so. The 46th ward should put forth an independent. Someone with experience being the thorn on the side of the establishment. Oh, right...

  9. Ha! I had a typo in my last post. (Darn this comment moderation!)

    Obviously, I meant to say: "Thorn in the side of the establishment."

    but I said

    "Thorn ON the side of the establishment."

    Interesting slip, no?

  10. Thanks to anyone who has forwarded this article on to friends or made public comments on the Suntimes website. This is one of many ways to spread the word about this Citywide problem and how in Uptown we have taken the lead on trying to set some limits on the process. Keep up the good work!