Friday, December 05, 2008

Chicago TIF tiff

The City of Chicago has severe financial problems, which has led to layoffs, budget cutbacks, and just a couple of days ago, the announcement that some parking meter rates will quadruple.

Meanwhile on Chicago's North Side, real estate developers received a tax break, known as a TIF, to develop strategically located property.

Residents opposed to an Uptown redevelopment project sued the City of Chicago on Wednesday, challenging the legality of using special property tax district funding for the Wilson Yard site.

Noting the development near Broadway and Montrose Avenue would be a half mile from Lake Shore Drive and Wrigley Field, opponents allege $62 million in tax increment finance district funding is not needed.

And the area is well served by public transportation.

No TIF needed.

Thanks to a regular Marathon Pundit reader for this story tip.

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Anonymous said...

who is the developer related to?

Marathon Pundit said...

Or a contributor to?

yo said...

On the federal level, Holsten has given money to Schakowsky, Danny Davis and Gary Chico.

Closer to home, he's tight with 46th Ward Alderman Helen Shiller and has also donated to 13th District state Rep. Greg Harris.

I'd be surprised if there weren't more, but I haven't looked terribly hard.

Anonymous said... has tons of interesting facts about this money grab.

Marathon Pundit said...

I'm gonna keep on top of this story.

Anonymous said...

And Daley has no knowledge?

yo said...

Oh, Daley knows all about it.

He made a deal with Shiller, she gives him unquestioned support on his budgets, she gets to do with Wilson Yard as she pleases.

He gets to work on his legacy, and she hers.

Everyone wins except for the people of Chicago.

Should the plaintiffs find victory in this lawsuit, Daley's entire funding operation would be exposed.

And his dirty dealings along with it.

This threatens his Olympic dreams.

That certainly would be horrible since all of the money Daley's stashed in his secret TIF accounts (think ~$1B) would have to go back into those superfluous budget line items such as police, fire, schools, infrastructure, CTA ... y'know? The crap no one cares about.

But, let me sum it up, this way:

Helen Shiller has lied to the public, and ignored her constituency, regarding the housing unit aspect of this plan.

She wants to put low, low-low and no income parties into 1BDRM apartments which will cost ~$300,000/per unit to build.

The 2BDRM version will cost $440,000, per unit.

Those dollars are all tax dollars, by the way.

Anyone wonder why their property taxes went up?

Now you know why.

El Rider said...

In addition to the Uptownupdate blog has been writing about the Wilson Yard controversy for years. The TIF programs are a disgrace, on some level they allow property owners to pay their property taxes to themselves. They become the exclusive beneficiaries of their taxes to the detriment of the rest of the city. I'm glad that you will keep on top of this story.

Uptown's Alderman, Helen Shiller (a favorite target of the late, great Mike Royko) got her political start with the help of Walter "Slim" Coleman, now known as, ahem the Rev. Walter Coleman. The "Rev." is the leader of the Adalberto United Methodist Church, of Elvira Arellano fame. Uptown has long been a dumping ground for the state's mentally ill, it is still chock full of subsidized housing and the homeless shelters up there have voter participation rates that would make old Soviet dictators blush. Shiller has looked the other way as various housing shelters became ground zero for crack and heroin dealers, one shelter operated by the Jesus People USA is alleged to have been operated by members of the Latin Kings street gang (or maybe it was the Mickey Cobras, the gangs can change by the block up there). That arrangement seemed to end after a gun battle at Broadway and Clifton, just yards from their shelter.

Jim Roper said...

Remember Meigs Field?