Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Chicago Reader: The Shadow Budget

Read Ben Joravsky and Mick Dumke's "The Shadow Budget" at The Chicago Reader here.

A savvy reader notes:
"Short version: every argument that Shiller used for the Wilson Yard TIF and its bastard child of an amendment was pure poppy-cock. TIF funds are not "in addition to" shared city revenue, often times they are "in replacement of."

If Shiller were true to her historic political stance, she should be fighting TIFs. Instead, she's going along to get along.

Shorter version: SHENANIGANS!


  1. This article begs the question...

    Are the annual reports of the TIFs false? (I've long suspected they are.) I don't see the long term debt/obligations on the audited reports. I don't see an accounting of the asset, i.e. 24 year revenue stream on the reports. Is there recourse with the city/auditors for filing fraudulant financial statements?

  2. I can't believe more people haven't read and debated this article. It is exactly what FWY has been fighting about!!!
    The article is infuriating!!!

  3. If that article is infuriating, this isn't going to do much for your mood.

    Several alderman say they're worried about using long-term reserves to balance next year's budget. Alderman Tom Allen suggests instead skimming money off the top of all the city's TIF funds, which are earmarked for neighborhood development.

    ALLEN: Why can't we take resources that are in the TIF districts, income, and use it to plug this hole. Why do we give this money to private developers? Let's give it to the citizens.

    That can't be done, according to a city spokeswoman. She says state law does not permit Chicago to spend TIF money on general expenses

    Wonder if that was the same city spokeswoman who couldn't answer the question of where, exactly, has all of the WYTIF money gone.

    Though, credit this woman for some chutzpah. Referring to the same state law that the mayor, and associated aldermen *cough*, consistently bend (if not overtly break) to fill their honey pots is rich indeed.

    Credit to Allen for even bringing this up. I'm sure Streets and San will get right on his next request.

    Summing it up, if you thought the parking meter fiasco (y'know .. ? The vote Helen didn't bother to cast) created a bit of an outrage, when the general public starts figuring out that the Mayor, City Council and CDC have been skimming their hard-earned property tax dollars off the top to fund their back-door, off-the-record projects, there may very well be some very well deserved hell to pay.

    As I've said before: Karma's a bitch.

    And karma, unlike Helen's constituency, cannot be denied.