Since 1986 more than $7.5 billion has been collected in tax increment financing (TIF) funding in the City of Chicago and suburban Cook County. A sizable portion of these proceeds have supported school construction, community improvements, and affordable housing in neighborhoods across Chicago, proving TIF as a good tool for community development.
Yet growing public concern has focused on the perception that TIF is over-used in the Loop to attract corporations to relocate downtown. To make the program more effective, many are calling for stronger standards for defining blight, as well as greater accountability and transparency in the funding allocation process. In May, Mayor Rahm Emanuel created the Task Force on TIF Reform, charging members with bringing transparency, accountability, and efficiency to the TIF process, including establishing an easy-to-use open data system. Consisting of economic and finance experts and chaired by Carole Brown, MPC board member and managing director at Barclays Capital, the task force presented its final recommendations on Thursday, August 25.
Join the Metropolitan Planning Council for a roundtable discussion on how to advance TIF reforms in Chicago. Carole Brown will present the task force’s recommendations. Alderman Ameya Pawar (47th Ward) will share his thoughts on how to enact the task force’s recommendations, as well as his ideas on the use of TIF in his ward. Jacques Sandberg will describe how The Community Builders, Inc.— one of the country’s largest and most accomplished nonprofit development corporations—has used TIFs to bridge the financing gap in underdeveloped and underserved communities in Chicago. Steven Quasny, managing director of community development lending and investments at BMO Harris Bank, will moderate the discussion.
This is the first event of a three-part infrastructure roundtable series, which also will include discussions on transportation infrastructure investment and utility infrastructure sustainability. Check MPC’s web calendar for details.
Thank you to BMO Harris Bank for sponsoring this roundtable.