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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:34pm
Mon Aug 31, 2015

Analysis: Chicago's TIF Program Had $1.4 Billion In Unspent Funds At Start Of 2015

A recent review of city documents shows Chicago's 150 tax increment financing districts had over $1.4 billion sitting in their collective bank accounts at the start of 2015. The review, by the TIF Illumination Project, comes as the cash-strapped city faces large budget and pension issues.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:29pm
Tue Jul 14, 2015

Chicago TIF Revenue Drops 12 Percent, Seven Districts Slated For Early Termination

The seven downtown Chicago tax increment financing (TIF) districts that Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to phase out have together collected $869 million in revenue since their inception, according to figures provided by Cook County Clerk David Orr.

Just in the last year, the seven TIF districts had combined revenues of $93 million.

Those numbers were contained in Orr's 2014 TIF report released Monday, the same day news broke that the city will be shutting down seven downtown TIF districts after current project balances have been paid in full. As part of Emanuel's TIF changes -- which were announced as both the city and school district grapple with large pension and budgetary issues -- no new spending in the seven TIF districts will occur.

The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is expected to get $125 million in revenue over five years under the plan to shutter the TIF districts, and the city will receive $50 million. Other funds will be set aside for "emergency infrastructure projects."

"Chicago and the mayor are moving in the right direction by freezing new spending at some downtown TIFs and dissolving those TIFs when current projects have ended," Orr said in a press release. "Still, such scrubbing is overdue and it could certainly include more than seven of 148 TIFs."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
2:19pm
Wed Jun 10, 2015

CTU Members, Allies Rally For Fair Contract, Progressive State Revenue Options (VIDEO)

Progress Illinois provides highlights from the Chicago Teachers Union's Tuesday rally for a "fair contract," during which participants also called for "fair-share" revenue solutions to tackle the fiscal issues facing the city and state.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
7:43pm
Wed Apr 1, 2015

Garcia Sounds Off On Crime Stats, 'Stop And Frisk' Practices & Housing Issues

While on the campaign trail Wednesday, Chicago mayoral challenger Jesus "Chuy" Garcia weighed in on new crime stats, responded to the ACLU of Illinios' "stop and frisk" report and announced support for the Chicago Housing Initiative's "Keeping the Promise" ordinance. 

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
10:46am
Fri Mar 27, 2015

CTU Unveils New Contract Demands, Rallies With Allies For 'Education Justice' (VIDEO)

The Chicago Teachers Union is in contract talks with the Board of Ed and released its final set of demands Thursday. The union held a large rally Thursday evening, calling for "education justice" in Chicago — a running theme among the final 10 contract requests released by the group of educators. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:12pm
Mon Mar 23, 2015

New Poll Looks At Latino Perspectives In Chicago Mayoral Race

A new survey shows Latino registered voters in Chicago overwhelming support Chicago mayoral challenger Jesus 'Chuy' Garcia over Mayor Rahm Emanuel. But while Latino voters are strongly pro-Garcia, they are not necessarily anti-Emanuel, the polling results indicate.

Of the 406 Latino survey respondents, 61 percent opted for Garcia, while 18 percent said they would vote for Emanuel if the April 7 runoff were held today. Twenty-one percent of survey respondents were undecided in the poll, conducted March 16 through March 20.

Latino Decisions' bilingual telephone survey -- co-sponsored by the Latino Policy Forum, National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC) and Univision Chicago -- has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.8 percentage points.

Representatives from the groups involved with the survey, along with Northwestern University political science lecturer Jamie Dominguez, whose expertise includes Latino and Chicago politics, spoke at a Monday morning forum to discuss to the polling results.

Panelists stressed the importance of the new survey, noting that the Latino vote is generally under-polled in Chicago mayoral polls.

"No other poll conducted this season has aimed to connect directly with (Latinos) or sought to gauge their perspective on critical issues," Dominguez noted.

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