Thursday, March 26, 2009

FWY: 68% Of Property Taxes Going To Wilson Yard

From A Fix Wilson Yard Newsletter:
The members of Fix Wilson Yard have known for awhile that the Wilson Yard TIF was a huge and unwarranted diversion of property tax dollars, but we wanted to see what this means on a per household level. In a city where transparency is a four letter word, it wasn't easy, but we set about digging through the records from the Cook County Clerk and Treasurer's offices and learned a little about the property taxes our neighborhood is paying. After many weeks of number crunching and hundreds of hours of tedious volunteer work, we generated a report showing the 2007 property taxes for every single resident who lives inside the Wilson Yard TIF district, and the breakdown of where their taxes went.
This week, the Fix Wilson Yard team sent out a letter to every one of the taxpayers who lives in the Wilson Yard TIF District, setting forth their individual 2007 property tax and detailing just how much went to the Wilson Yard TIF Fund. For all the different tax amounts owed, there was one common piece of information in these letters: 68%. As in 68 cents on the dollar. That is the percentage of their 2007 property tax dollars that was diverted away from our schools, parks, police and other essential city services, and sent instead into the pockets of politically connected developers and into a closed door project spearheaded by an alderman who has no concern for the welfare of her constituents.
In more concrete terms, let's say you paid $4,000 in property taxes for 2007. That means over $2,700 of your tax bill never made it to its intended destination. When you aggregate everybody in the Wilson Yard TIF district, that number explodes to $5.8 million being siphoned away. And when you add up all of the TIF districts in Cook County, you arrive at the mind boggling figure of $892 million. And all this is happening in a way few citizens have any awareness of.


  1. I'm not a religious person, but I pray we don't get the Olympics! That will siphon off our property taxes for another decade. Elected officials come up with endless projects to spend our money...............

  2. This research is outstanding. Excellent work FWY. Kudos to your volunteer researchers.