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John Fritchey
Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:03pm
Mon Jul 8, 2013

Community Activists Turn Attention To Chicago’s TIF Program In Light Of CPS Budget Cuts

As local public schools begin to grapple with devastating budget cuts, community activists from across the city continue to put the spotlight on Chicago’s tax increment financing (TIF) program.

Since its inception in 1986, the city’s TIF program has raked in about $5 billion in property tax dollars. Of that money, $2.7 billion was diverted from the school district.

In return, Chicago’s TIF program looks to spur economic development in blighted areas by providing subsidies to companies for projects, such as housing complexes or a shopping center. TIF money has also been used for school building construction projects.

But at a recent TIF town hall meeting, Rogers Park residents criticized the program, saying it has done little to generate economic development in the 49th Ward and other struggling communities across the city.

“We need to end the TIF program,” said 49th Ward resident Don Olson at the CivicLab’s TIF forum held at Loyola Park last week.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:58pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Struggling Small Business Owners Seek Help From Cook County Commissioners

Chicago small business owners and Northwest Side residents say local businesses are dying off, and they need Cook County officials to intervene. 

"We, of course, have been slaughtered in the recession in the last four to five years," said Mark Thomas, owner of The Alley Chicago, at a Cook County economic development forum Thursday morning.

Thomas told Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle and Commissioners Edwin Reyes (8th) and John Fritchey (12th) that landlords should see some sort of tax incentive to encourage them to rent space to local businesses rather than chain stores.

Elise Doody-Jones, a small business owner in Logan Square, added that rents are too expensive. The high rents are a burden for neighborhood businesses and can often discourage small business owners to set up shop, she said.

Larger corporations generally do not move their businesses into communities until they feel the demographics and income levels are right, she explained.

"It's really the small businesses who run on a shoestring that step in," she said. "But the rents are too high because the property taxes are too high." 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
10:57am
Fri Jan 11, 2013

Chicago Public Forum Peers Into The Murky Future Of Pension Reform

It’s not yet clear what pension reform will look like for Illinois, but more public education will help lead to a solution that’s fair for everybody, elected officials stressed at a pension town hall in Chicago Thursday night.  

North Side lawmakers, Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th), State Rep. Ann Williams (D-Chicago) and Cook County Commissioners Bridget Gainer and John Fritchey, hosted the public meeting in order to focus the contentious and often confusing pension dialogue.

“If the conversation continues to be greedy public servants versus people busting pensions, I think we’re never going to have a reasonable conversation,” Pawar said to the crowd of more than 50 at St. Benedict Prep High School.

Quick Hit
by Micah Maidenberg
4:36pm
Wed Sep 15, 2010

TIF Reform Bills Unlikely To Go Away

In late August, State Rep.

Quick Hit
by Micah Maidenberg
10:26am
Mon Aug 30, 2010

Fritchey To Run For Mayor?

Over the last few months, State Rep.

Quick Hit
by Micah Maidenberg
12:21pm
Wed Aug 25, 2010

Daley On TIF Talk: "Everybody Wants To Raid Something"

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley unleashed a barrage of insults against the financial acumen of unnamed state legislators at a press conference on the North Side yesterday.

PI Original
by Josh Kalven
2:38pm
Mon Aug 23, 2010

Daley's TIF Empire Gets Targeted In Springfield

Flanked on Sunday by Chicago Public Schools parents and the Chicago Teachers Union, State Rep. John Fritchey rolled out an ambitious package of proposals aimed at taking hundreds of thousands of dollars out of Daley's "piggy bank" and returning them to cash-strapped local schools.