2011 Infrastructure Roundtable Series: Tax Increment Financing

September 15, 2011

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Carole Brown, Jacques Sandberg, and Alderman Ameya Pawar

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. 
 
Listen in to this Metropolitan Planning Council roundtable discussion on how to advance TIF reforms in Chicago. Carole Brown presents the task force’s recommendations. Alderman Ameya Pawar (47th Ward) shares 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 describes 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, moderates 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. See the Metropolitan Planning Council site for details.
 
 
Recorded Thursday, September 15, 2011 at the Metropolitan Planning Council Conference Center.