Lightfoot Administration Promises Better TIF Oversight

Craig Dellimore
February 05, 2020 - 5:04 pm
Chicago City Hall

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The Lightfoot Administration is trumpeting what officials call sweeping changes to Chicago's often-criticized program of tax breaks for infrastructure, housing and other projects.

Mayor Lightfoot says for too long the city’s tax-increment financing, or TIF, spending decisions have been made in the shadows. Now, says Deputy Mayor Samir Mayecar, the board he heads will be transparent about the projects it approves.

Mayekar said under the current system, a broader panel of city officials will have to approve TIF projects with an eye towards equity. Officials promise low-income neighborhoods will see more benefits.

There were reports that  a moratorium on TIFs in the Central Business District imposed under Rahm Emanuel was being relaxed, but Mayenkar says that’s not correct. He says no TIF money will go to private projects in the Central District.

Public projects, though, can get TIF funds.

This is only the first stage of TIF reform. Later the panel will focus on how TIF districts are created and whether new state legislation is needed.