The First 100: Examining Chicago's use of TIF funds

June 23, 2011

Produced by Eight Forty-Eight

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(WBEZ/Tony Arnold)
Mayor Emanuel recently criticized the city's past use of tax increment financing districts.

Chicago’s TIF, or Tax Increment Financing, is a tool meant to encourage development in so-called blighted communities. But TIF is not without its critics. Some argue that money does not go to the areas that need it most. Current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel campaigned to reform the program.

The First 100
series takes a look at some of the critical policies requiring the attention of the new administration. In the latest installment, Eight Forty-Eight asked if TIF funding needs to change, and if so, what approach to public financing might work.

Host Alison Cuddy spoke to Chicago Reader staff writer Ben Joravsky, who has pretty much written the book on Chicago’s use of TIFs. To get a view from inside City Council, 2nd Ward Alderman Robert Fioretti explained the use of TIFs in his ward.

Music Button: Gotan Project, "Tangitos", from the CD Revancha del Tango, (Xl recordings)