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Organizing Around TIFs -12-8-19

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Tom Tresser of the CivicLab Chicago (www.civiclab.us) gave this presentation at a rally around public education and TIFs in Cincinnati on December 8, 2019. tom@civiclab.us

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Organizing Around TIFs -12-8-19

  1. 1. December 8, 2019 Tom Tresser tom@civiclab.us
  2. 2. 2 The CivicLab is a Chicago-based 501 c 3 tax-exempt nonprofit community- facing “do tank” dedicated to accelerating and deepening grassroots democracy, civic engagement and social justice efforts through collaboration, education and innovation. We originate and build tools for civic investigation, sustainable grassroots leadership development, civic accountability and civic collaboration. We seek to expand civic imagination about what is possible for Chicago’s future. We recruit, develop, equip and inform new leaders to take us to that future. Our method is: Investigate. Fabricate. Educate. Activate. Liberate. Repeat.
  3. 3. 3 The TIF Illumination Project started in 2013.
  4. 4. 4
  5. 5. 5 Where are TIFs? 2018 Chicago = 145 Suburbs = 303 Cook County = 448 30% of ALL of Chicago is in a TIF!
  6. 6. 6
  7. 7. 7
  8. 8. 8 Mr. TIF
  9. 9. 2016 = $1.24 billion 1,304 TIF districts 559 municipalities
  10. 10. 10 Key Policy Questions 1. Under what circumstances do we give public $ to private business? 2. Who plans what for whom? AKA, What defines “community development”? 3. Is Cincinnati broke? 4. Who’s watching our back? Need for new leaders.
  11. 11. 12 1. Secretive, arrogant, impossible to monitor or evaluate. 1. Total TIF takings per project/TIF going back to start 2. List of all projects and uses funded by TIF $ 3. List of all vendors, consultants, accountants paid in establishing, monitoring, reporting on TIFs 4. Total amount of $ in TIF accounts at end of 2018 5. By the way, WHERE IS THE MEDIA/ACADEMIA on this?
  12. 12. 13 2. Definition of “blight” is meaningless.
  13. 13. 14 TIFs hoard taxes in prosperous communities – starve poor communities. 3. They further economic inequity & segregation.
  14. 14. TIF $ in the 42nd Ward 24
  15. 15. 188 W. Randolph Street – Randolph Tower Apartments 230 N. Michigan Avenue – Hard Rock Hotel (still a hotel) 555 W. Monroe Street – PepsiCo TIF $ in the 42nd Ward
  16. 16. 123 S. Dearborn Street – Dearborn Center 32 W. Randolph Street – Oriental Theater 1 N. Dearborn Street - Sears TIF $ in the 42nd Ward
  17. 17. 18 Mayor pulls $ from TIFs when it suits his/her agenda, benefits his allies.
  18. 18. 19 49% of all TIF collected in 2018 was moved or re-distributed! $182.4 million transferred out $147.4 million distributed ---------------------------------- $329.8 million moved in 2018
  19. 19. 20
  20. 20. 21 Many, many instances of Aldermen receiving cash from TIF project owners/developers. Carrie Austin, 34th Ward - $14,650 – 2 projects/$22.9 million TIF funds Brian Hopkins, 2nd Ward - $6,000 – 1 project/$1.3 billion TIF funds Walter Burnett, 27th Ward - $3,000 – 1 project/$7 million TIF funds Danny Solis, 25th Ward - $64,100 – 1 project/$9 million TIF funds
  21. 21. 22 Authors plead "Our message is simple: 'Please, please, if you're going to offer incentives, don't give them to every firm that asks -- Don't! Ninety percent of the time they don't work, and handing them out after a company has already located in an area without them makes no sense at all."
  22. 22. Where are Parks MOST Needed?
  23. 23. 24 • 2010 District 200 sued Village of Oak Park over downtown TIF. • Case dragged on for one year. • Cost taxpayers over $600,000 • “Economic development is not the business of school districts – education is. TIFs take dollars from schools. The best economic development localities can do is provide great education. When dollars from education go into these deals the game never comes out favorably for students.” – Sharon Patchak- Layman, member D200 School Board
  24. 24. 27 www.endtifsnow.org

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