From left, Carole Brown, Jacques Sandberg, and Ald. Ameya Pawar answer questions from the audience.
There’s no question that Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is a hot topic in Chicago, and it should be; since 1986 more than $7.5 billion has been collected in TIF funding in the City and suburban Cook County. While a sizable portion of these proceeds have supported school construction, community improvements, and affordable housing in neighborhoods, growing public concern has focused on the perception that TIF is over-used in the Loop, in particular to attract corporations to relocate downtown, resulting in calls for stronger standards for defining blight, as well as greater accountability and transparency in the funding allocation process.
In response to these concerns, Mayor Rahm Emanuel created the Task Force on TIF Reform, charged with a top-to-bottom evaluation of the City’s TIF program and chaired by Carole Brown, MPC board member and managing director at Barclays Capital. On Sept. 15, Brown along with 47th Ward Ald. Amaya Pawar and Jacques Sandberg of The Community Builders spoke to a packed crowd at MPC’s “Reforming Tax Increment Financing” roundtable, moderated by Steve Quasny of BMO Harris Bank.
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