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Quick Hit
by Progress Illinois
Mon Dec 12, 2011

Op-Ed: Passage Of CME Tax Break Fuels Growing Income Inequality, Ignores Voice Of The 99%

The following is from Keith Kelleher, president of SEIU* Healthcare Illinois and Indiana, on the passage of the tax break package passed by the Illinois House earlier today.

By granting a large tax break today to one of Illinois’ most prosperous companies, the Illinois House has concentrated more wealth in the hands of the rich, even as average workers are literally taking to the streets to decry growing income inequality.

While we applaud the House for passing a separate bill that expands the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-wage households, the benefits of this measure are eclipsed by the magnitude of the tax breaks lawmakers approved for the state’s corporate heavyweights. For every one dollar in tax breaks the House has given to workers struggling to propel themselves out of poverty, it has doled out nearly two dollars to corporations.

PI Original
by Progress Illinois
Mon Dec 5, 2011

TIF Abuse Buoys Downtown Fat Cats, As Neighborhoods Suffer (VIDEO)

Grassroots Collaborative offers a look at the "gross misuse" of tax increment financing funds in Chicago's downtown area, explaining how it comes at the expense of some already-struggling neighborhoods.

Quick Hit
by Aaron Krager
Mon Nov 21, 2011

Occupy Chicago Holds Breadline Over CME Tax Break (VIDEO)

Occupy Chicago participants formed a breadline Friday afternoon to protest budget cuts and proposed legislation aimed at giving tax breaks to large corporations. The Illinois General Assembly is expected to vote on Senate bill 405 next week, a measure that would provide massive tax cuts totaling more than $100 million for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE).  The bill comes in a time of economic turmoil with the state facing an $8 billion budget deficit in the upcoming year, according to the Civic Federation.

PI Original
by Matthew Blake
Fri Nov 11, 2011

Unfinished Business: A Veto Session Roundup

The Illinois General Assembly’s 2011 veto session was supposed to end Thursday, but an extra day – November 29 – was tacked on after an impasse on big tax break legislation for financial exchanges.

PI Original
by David Milton Brent
Thu Nov 10, 2011

As Corporate Tax Break Package Expands, So Does Opposition

The Illinois state legislature this week is debating several versions of a tax break package aimed at incentivizing corporations to remain in Illinois. Community groups have responded with strong opposition to aspects of the current plan.

Quick Hit
by Progress Illinois
Wed Oct 5, 2011

Op-Ed: Corruption Highlights Need for TIF Reform

The following is an op-ed by Amisha Patel, executive director of the Grassroots Collaborative.

The report released by Inspector General Joe Ferguson on Monday that documents developers being forced to donate taxpayer dollars to the politically-connected After School Matters underscores the point that the TIF system must be reformed.

It is troubling that Chicago taxpayer money was abused so egregiously by city officials. Even more worrisome, the city continues to lack transparency in TIF deals, allowing the continued possibility of corruption in taxpayer dollars.