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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:54pm
Tue Jan 12, 2016

Chicago Development Panel Advances Controversial Uptown Housing TIF Project

Chicago's Community Development Commission (CDC) unanimously approved a controversial plan Tuesday to provide a $15.8 million tax increment financing (TIF) subsidy for an upscale apartment complex in Uptown, despite opposition from some local low-income housing advocates.

The $125 million luxury housing development, proposed for the former Columbus Maryville Academy site near the city's lakefront, still needs Chicago City Council approval.

A group of about 30 community activists spoke against the proposal outside of City Hall's council chambers before attending the CDC meeting. The protesters toted signs reading, "No Public Funds For Private Profit." They saw support from Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey and TIF activist Tom Tresser.

"I stand with my Uptown neighbors ... to demand that Mayor Emanuel's rubber stamp not be used one more time by the Community Development Commission to rob the taxpayers of Chicago and send millions of public dollars into private pockets," Tresser, with the TIF Illumination Project, said during public comment at the CDC meeting.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:48pm
Mon Nov 9, 2015

Chicago Ald. Cardenas, Activists Protest Activation Of Archer Avenue Speed Camera (VIDEO)

Chicago Ald. George Cardenas (12th) spoke out Monday against the activation of a controversial speed camera in his ward.

The speed camera is located in the McKinley Park neighborhood at 3200 S. Archer Avenue, near the Mulberry Playlot Park at 3150 S. Robinson St.

On Monday, the photo enforcement device began issuing warnings to speeding drivers. After a 30-day warning period, tickets will be issued, and drivers caught going 11 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit will face $100 fines.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and proponents of speed cameras say the devices, located near parks and schools, enhance children's safety. But opponents argue that speed cameras are less about safety and more about generating revenue for the city.

"There's no justification whatsoever for this camera being here except (for) ticketing people on their way home, or on their way to work or from work," Cardenas said at a morning press conference in front of the Archer Avenue speed camera near Paulina Street.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:22pm
Mon Nov 2, 2015

Dozens Arrested During Protest Over 'LaSalle Street Tax' At Chicago Board Of Trade (VIDEO)

Forty-one protesters with Fair Economy Illinois were arrested Monday after they blocked the entrances of the Chicago Board of Trade building as part of their campaign for a "LaSalle Street tax," or a tax on financial transactions to generate state revenue. Progress Illinois provides highlights from the protest. 

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:35pm
Wed Oct 28, 2015

Chicago City Council OK's Budget, Record Property Tax Hike & Lucas Museum

Progress Illinois rounds up the action at Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting, during which aldermen approved Mayor Rahm Emanuel's 2016 budget — including a $588 million property tax hike — and zoning for the proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:20pm
Tue Oct 27, 2015

Emanuel's Proposed Property Tax Hike Could Hit Renters Hard, Report Shows

One day before Wednesday's budget vote in the Chicago City Council, a Northwest Side community group released new research showing that Chicago renters could take a significant hit under Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposed property tax increase.

Emanuel wants to increase property taxes by a record $588 million over four years to pay for police and fire pensions and school construction. Aldermen are scheduled to vote on the mayor's budget package, including the property tax increase, at Wednesday's council meeting.

A report released Tuesday by Communities United, formerly the Albany Park Neighborhood Council, examined the potential impact of the proposed property tax hike on renters in two-flat buildings across seven North Side neighborhoods.

The grassroots social justice group found that tenants in two-flats on Chicago's North and Northwest Sides could see their rent increase between $50 to $100 a month, or $600 to $1,200 a year, after the property tax increase is fully implemented.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
7:26pm
Fri Oct 23, 2015

New Accounting Rule Requires Cities, States To Disclose Tax Break Costs

Cities and states will have to disclose information about tax abatement agreements under new accounting standards issued in mid-August. Progress Illinois takes a closer look at the Governmental Accounting Standards Board's first-ever reporting requirements on the issue.

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