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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:05pm
Tue Oct 8, 2013

Report: Downtown Chicago Job Growth Excludes Most City Residents

A new study shows that 52,404 new jobs came to downtown Chicago between 2002 and 2011 thanks to economic development investments, yet only one in four of those positions went to city residents.

Suburbanites and people in prosperous Chicago communities like Lakeview and Lincoln Park mostly gained those jobs, and residents in the city's predominantly black and Latino neighborhoods were largely excluded, the report issued Tuesday by Grassroots Collaborative found.

From 2004 to 2008, the city spent more than $1.2 billion in public, tax increment financing (TIF) funds for these type of downtown, job creation investments, according to the report called, “Downtown Prosperity, Neighborhood Neglect: Chicago’s Black and Latino Workers Left Behind.”

"This type of development creates disparities clearly along racial lines, and the city should not be endorsing policies that shift more money to a smaller group of the city," said Eric Tellez, research and data manager with Grassroots Collaborative, a coalition of community and labor groups. "For all of the city to do well, all of its residents need to do well. Prioritizing downtown development to the exclusion of neighborhoods is an economic development strategy that is failing most people in the city."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:14pm
Fri Sep 27, 2013

State Hearing Reignites Debate Over Corporate Tax Disclosure In Illinois

Corporate tax disclosure in Illinois was the subject of a state hearing held in Chicago Friday, which attracted about 100 supporters. Progress Illinois was there for the hearing.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
12:02pm
Mon Jul 29, 2013

New State Coalition Calls For ‘A Better Illinois’

“A Better Illinois” is a coalition representing a diverse group of state residents and small business owners who are fed up with Illinois' fiscal problems and its “out-of-date” tax code that, they say, bogs down the middle class and hinders economic growth. Progress Illinois takes a look at what the group is calling for and ways to achieve a more fair tax system in Illinois. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:52pm
Mon Jul 15, 2013

Sen. Biss Discusses The State Of Illinois Pension Reform At Heated Public Meeting

Emotions ran high at State Sen. Daniel Biss’ (D-Evanston) public meeting on pension reform that brought out some 200 retirees, state workers and concerned Illinois residents Sunday afternoon in Evanston.

During the spring legislative session, the Illinois legislature fumbled on a measure that would help address the state’s nearly $100 billion in pension debt, which threatens funding for education and other core services. The state’s failure to pay its share of pension payments in the past is largely to blame for the ballooning debt.  

Biss sits on the Illinois General Assembly’s 10-member pension conference committee, which was put in place in June to cobble together a compromise bill.

Those at the meeting pressed the senator on when the group would have its pension proposal ready. And they were also adamant about bringing in more state revenue by closing corporate tax loopholes and implementing a progressive income tax in Illinois.

“We have a revenue problem, not a pension problem,” Bloomingdale resident Karl Gabbey said at the meeting. “Please do not blame the public employees ... public employees are taxpayers too just like anybody else.”

PI Original
by Matthew Blake
11:57am
Wed Nov 14, 2012

Democratic Super Majority May Change Little In Springfield

The election was a triumph for Illinois Democrats and a disaster for Prairie State Republicans, with Democrats gaining super majorities in both the Illinois House and Senate. But what progressive policy will emerge from Springfield’s new make up is hard to discern.

PI Original
by Steven Ross Johnson
5:27pm
Mon May 14, 2012

Business Butts Heads With Cullerton On Corporate State Income Tax Transparency Bill

A bill currently making its way through the Illinois Senate that would require public-held companies to report how much they pay in state income taxes is being lauded by a local community group as being a first step toward creating a more equitable tax structure, while business leaders have decried the measure, alleging it could further perpetuate the state’s reputation of being a bad place to do business.

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