Call it the $1.4-billion question. The collective cash balance in the bank accounts of Chicago's 164 tax-increment-financing districts is a cool $1.4 billion, according to a citizens' group that wants to tap that pot amid the city's big budget cuts. But city officials insist that little, if any, of that money is available for general use, even in hard times. [...] The answer from the city planning department, which runs the TIF operation, is the same now as it was then: No. Not possible.
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