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The Chicago Reader TIF Archive

Articles on Chicago's TIF (tax increment financing) districts.

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The TIF Shadow Budget

Shedding Light on the Shadow Budget
The TIF budget we recently pried from the city's grip reveals drastic inequities in how the money's spent.
By Ben Joravsky and Mick Dumke (December 10, 2009)

The Shadow Budget
The Daley administration commands an off-the-books kitty of taxpayer money equivalent to a sixth of the official city budget. Now we’ve got documents that show what they want to do with it.
By Ben Joravsky and Mick Dumke (October 22, 2009)

TIFs and Taxes

October Surprise
Mayor Daley says he’s not raising property taxes. But he is. Here’s how.
By Ben Joravsky (November 05, 2009)

Mr. Big Spender
As the city faced a gaping budget deficit, the Daley administration closed out Chicago’s oldest and fattest slush fund by spending every last cent in it—and then some.
By Ben Joravsky (August 08, 2009)

Ready, Set, (Property Tax) Hike
How will Daley balance the 2010 budget? Prepare for higher property taxes—but not till after the 2016 Olympics are sited.
By Ben Joravsky (September 03, 2009)

What TIFs Giveth, the Olympics Taketh Away
Instead of getting a new pool out of the games, the west side will lose a pool and gym paid for with $30 million in tax increment financing funds.
By Ben Joravsky (June 11, 2009)

Money for Nothing
How the city managed to spend $1.4 million to turn a commercial strip into empty lots.
By Ben Joravsky (March 12, 2009)

The True TIF Tally
Cook County clerk David Orr reveals—nay, publicizes—that TIFs sucked up more than $500 million in property taxes last year.
By Ben Joravsky (November 22, 2007)

The Storm to Come
As Chicagoans face tax hikes that will force people from their homes, Daley deflects blame onto state leaders.
By Ben Joravsky (August 30, 2007)

TIFs and Transparency

Transparency in Action
How a bill intended to expand the state Freedom of Information Act was bastardized to expand the mayor's shadow budget
By Ben Joravsky (November 19, 2009)

University Village: The Story's Not Finished
How did UIC spend the money it got from the local TIF?
By Ben Joravsky (May 28, 2009)

Taking Advantage of TIF Ignorance
Is someone using the proposed North Pullman TIF to scare the neighbors into selling cheap?
By Ben Joravsky (May 8, 2009)

Money For The Taking
The city explains - in a manner of speaking - why it has so little evidence that it monitored its $10 million TIF deal with Republic Windows and Doors.
By Mick Dumke (March 19, 2009)

Show Us the Money
How well is the city monitoring its multimillion-dollar corporate subsidies? There's only one way to find out.
By Ben Joravsky and Mick Dumke (March 19, 2009)

TIFs: Hidden in plain view
The City Council can approve a 99-year privatization deal in days, but it needs months to decide whether to put public records online.
By Ben Joravsky (March 17, 2009)

Manny and Scott Take on the TIFs
Aldermen Manny Flores and Scott Waguespack take up Mike Quigley's TIF reform crusade.
By Ben Joravsky (March 13, 2009)

TIFs and Big Business

Clout on the Calumet River
Marina owner Mike Olsen has reason to fear the city will force him out of business to the benefit of his competition.
By Ben Joravsky (October 29, 2009)

Stimulus, Chicago-Style
MillerCoors gets $24 million in subsidies to move to Chicago. What does Chicago get?
By Ben Joravsky (March 26, 2009)

Out the Window
Republic Windows and Doors will make good on what it owes workers. Now what about our $10.4 million?
By Ben Joravsky (December 18, 2008)

A Good Day for the Rainmakers
The well-connected score again as the city works out new TIF deals for a former alderman, a wealthy private hospital, and a big car dealer.
By Ben Joravsky (January 17, 2008)

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