Posts Tagged ‘TIF’

PSAT for 11-12-13: Dump Vallas, rescue TIF ordinance, plan for Neighborhood Fair and inBloom forum

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

psat_logoSo much activism this week.

Here’s a petition to sign opposing Pat Quinn’s pick of Paul Vallas as his running mate.

Here’s the link to tell your alderpeople to release the TIF ordinance from the Rules committee.

And, for your schedules, make sure you have these important events on your calendar:

  • Chicago Neighborhood Schools Fair, this Saturday, Nov. 16 from 11 am to 3 pm at Clemente High School. Come say hi – I will be at a table for PURE, More Than a Score and Parents Across America
  • Beware of inBloom forum with Leonie Haimson, Thursday Nov. 21 at 7 pm at Fosco Park, 13th and Racine in Chicago



PSAT for 11-8-11: From RYH – where’s the schools’ TIF money

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

For today’s Public Schools Action Tuesday, an action alert from Raise Your Hand:

Call your Alderman today!

As discussions about the longer school day continue without any answers about funding, we ask that you call your alderman to see where they stand on the tif surplus issue. Currently, there is over $800 million in unallocated tax increment financing (TIF) money, and our mayor has said he wants to return less than 10% of this to CPS and other taxing bodies. At a time when our libraries and other services are being cut, and our schools are about to be lengthened in hours without adequate resources to fund the current day, we think this is unacceptable.

You might hear tif rhetoric such as it is “not sustainable” and it is “a band-aid” and “we can’t use this money.” We disagree.  There are certain times, like when our economy is crawling out of a recession, when it makes sense to use more than a paltry 10% of this money. Perhaps our mayor and city council can use this year to come up with more creative solutions on improving the budget for next year. In the mean time, 10% is unacceptable.

Our mayor and city council have the authority to declare an annual surplus up to a certain percentage. A group of aldermen are supporting a tif ordinance that supports giving 40-45% of the unallocated tif money back to CPS and other taxing bodies. Call your alderman’s office and ask if he/she is supporting this measure, and if not, why?

TIF is something we should all be informed about. Lack of transparency when it comes to property taxes means that often money that should be going to CPS, the library and park district, are instead being put into TIF accounts for development. Sometimes this development includes the building of new schools and capital improvements to existing schools, but often it doesn’t.  Instead it goes to fund corporations, such as the bathroom remodel project at the Board of Trade, or the soon-to-be Mariano’s in Greektown. The bottom is line is that we should all know where our tax money is going, and have a voice in whether we support these projects. When money is diverted into tif accounts, we often see a rise in property taxes to make up for the loss.

Now is the time to contact your alderman.  Here are some talking points:

  • Recently the city council passed a resolution to extend the school day without any discussion about funding. How much of the tif surplus to do you support returning?
  •  Tell your alderman about the programs that your school needs and doesn’t have, or the programs not provided by CPS that parents have to fundraise for.
  • Ask your alderman how many TIF districts are in your ward – you should have this info.
  • Ask how much of the money from TIF has gone to the schools in your ward.

Find Your Alderman:


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About the PURE Thoughts blogger
Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.