Illinois

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Michael
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Re: Illinois

Post by Michael »

Hungary Jack wrote:
Michael wrote:
Hungary Jack wrote:Daley's array of fetish-feeding inconsequential beautification projects
Thank you for mentioning this. Daley's TIF's scare the heck out of me.
It is a wonderful tactic for Daley. He gets access to funds that normally would go into the operating budget and gets to spend them on pet projects that are outside the scope of any meaningful public scrutiny. He then gets to raise taxes to fill the hole left in the operating budget. And he won't be around when the big bills come due in 10-15 years when much of the local tax base has been siphoned away from the operating budget.

Blood pressure rising...

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G. Keenan
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Re: Illinois

Post by G. Keenan »

Chicago is a great place to live.

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Hungary Jack
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Re: Illinois

Post by Hungary Jack »

G. Keenan wrote:Chicago is a great place to live.
It is. It's just a lousy place to be a citizen.

Arthur Dent
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Re: Illinois

Post by Arthur Dent »

Hungary Jack wrote:
Michael wrote:
Hungary Jack wrote:Daley's array of fetish-feeding inconsequential beautification projects
Thank you for mentioning this. Daley's TIF's scare the heck out of me.
It is a wonderful tactic for Daley. He gets access to funds that normally would go into the operating budget and gets to spend them on pet projects that are outside the scope of any meaningful public scrutiny. He then gets to raise taxes to fill the hole left in the operating budget. And he won't be around when the big bills come due in 10-15 years when much of the local tax base has been siphoned away from the operating budget.
Since you've brought this up several times, I tried to figure out what these things are. Can you explain?

Isn't the concept of tax increment financing that the city can pay for some kind of improvement and this will pay for itself as property revenue increases? Regardless of whether that actually works, it seems like the Chicago TIF program has nothing to do with this concept. They freeze the tax amount that goes into the regular city budget and take the rest into a special fund for decades. Why can't improvements be made with money from the general fund? It seems like this is just about diverting money and has nothing to do with the tax increment financing concept.

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G. Keenan
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Re: Illinois

Post by G. Keenan »

Hungary Jack wrote:
G. Keenan wrote:Chicago is a great place to live.
It is. It's just a lousy place to be a citizen.
Happily I don't own property or a car. That cuts out the biggest two sources of whining.

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Hungary Jack
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Re: Illinois

Post by Hungary Jack »

G. Keenan wrote:
Hungary Jack wrote:
G. Keenan wrote:Chicago is a great place to live.
It is. It's just a lousy place to be a citizen.
Happily I don't own property or a car. That cuts out the biggest two sources of whining.
You forgot women, or wommers, if you are an Unknown Hinson fan.

And surely you ride the CTA?

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Hungary Jack
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Re: Illinois

Post by Hungary Jack »

Arthur Dent wrote:
Hungary Jack wrote:
Michael wrote:
Hungary Jack wrote:Daley's array of fetish-feeding inconsequential beautification projects
Thank you for mentioning this. Daley's TIF's scare the heck out of me.
It is a wonderful tactic for Daley. He gets access to funds that normally would go into the operating budget and gets to spend them on pet projects that are outside the scope of any meaningful public scrutiny. He then gets to raise taxes to fill the hole left in the operating budget. And he won't be around when the big bills come due in 10-15 years when much of the local tax base has been siphoned away from the operating budget.
Since you've brought this up several times, I tried to figure out what these things are. Can you explain?

Isn't the concept of tax increment financing that the city can pay for some kind of improvement and this will pay for itself as property revenue increases? Regardless of whether that actually works, it seems like the Chicago TIF program has nothing to do with this concept. They freeze the tax amount that goes into the regular city budget and take the rest into a special fund for decades. Why can't improvements be made with money from the general fund? It seems like this is just about diverting money and has nothing to do with the tax increment financing concept.
That is pretty much it. In theory, they are used to revive blighted neighborhoods by providing tax incentives and other public financial support to spur private investment in the area. The city can borrow against the future TIF revenues to fund a low-cost loan or tax break, as well as spiff up streets and other public amenities.

In Chicago, it would be hard to label many of the more recent TIF areas as "blighted". They are more accurately described as areas where the local population and modest housing and commercial property stock tend to generate low tax revenues for the city. It would much nicer for the city to have some nice new shiny $1 million condos there, and some high end commercial property to host a Starbucks and a Borders rather than a Family Dollar store, so here comes the TIF. It's like government-sponsored gentrification.

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G. Keenan
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Re: Illinois

Post by G. Keenan »

Hungary Jack wrote:
G. Keenan wrote:
Hungary Jack wrote:
G. Keenan wrote:Chicago is a great place to live.
It is. It's just a lousy place to be a citizen.
Happily I don't own property or a car. That cuts out the biggest two sources of whining.
You forgot women, or wommers, if you are an Unknown Hinson fan.

And surely you ride the CTA?
I do ride the CTA and have few complaints about it.

Arthur Dent
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Re: Illinois

Post by Arthur Dent »

G. Keenan wrote:I do ride the CTA and have few complaints about it.
Did they ever fix the "slow zones"? Reading the brochure explaining why we would need to travel at 20 mph after being diverted to bus, I got the impression that they let the tracks fall apart, but instead of fixing them just decided to drive slow over the bad spots.

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G. Keenan
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Re: Illinois

Post by G. Keenan »

Arthur Dent wrote:
G. Keenan wrote:I do ride the CTA and have few complaints about it.
Did they ever fix the "slow zones"? Reading the brochure explaining why we would need to travel at 20 mph after being diverted to bus, I got the impression that they let the tracks fall apart, but instead of fixing them just decided to drive slow over the bad spots.
They have been doing lots of work over the past year and that is one of the things they've addressed. Work is due to continue well into 2009. There are some temporary headaches as a result. The Red Line is much better than it was. The Blue Line seems about the same. The ride out to O'Hare takes an eternity. Fortunately I only have to take it a few times a year.

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