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Mayor announces changes for TIF districts

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Monday increased oversight for tax increment finance districts, or TIFs. But a Chicago watchdog group says reforms to the city's special taxing districts don't go far enough.

The TIF portal is expected to be online by the end of 2012 and have reports like these on each district. (WBEZ/Jennifer Brandel)
TIF districts are supposed to generate income that helps develop blighted areas. But for years complaints have rolled in about the lack of transparency and accountability involved.

Laurence Msall is with the Civic Federation and was on the mayor's TIF task force. He called the changes announced Monday a step in the right direction.

"But much more needs to be done in order to provide full transparency in reform of the TIF program," Msall said.

Msall says it'll remain difficult to measure whether TIFs are working if the state doesn't have an overall economic development plan.

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