Jim Jacoby of the American Design and Master-Craft Initiative and Jim Cohen of BeSparked interviewed me in July for this series of master designer podcasts. What, you may ask, do I have to do with design? Ah ha! You’ll just have to listen to this wide-ranging 47 minute interview where I talk about my background in the arts and the connections between design, space and civic engagement. If you do listen – please comment at the bottom of the podcast web page.
Thanks to tireless TIF reporter Ben Joravsky of The Chicago Reader for this wonderful piece. He connects the dots from the supposed state of Chicago’s finances to the plight of our public schools and the tens of millions, nay, hundreds of millions of property tax dollars, we shower on major corporations.
None of this work would’ve been possible without the hundreds of hours contributed by our all volunteer team of coders, map makers, graphic designers, researchers and community organizers who – collectively – have now Illuminated 127 TIFs across 29 wards. The full record of these forums are here. If you want YOUR ward Illuminated, contact us at email@example.com.
When we Illuminate a ward we tell you: (1) overview of how TIFs work in Chicago, (2) how many TIFs in the ward, (3) best estimate of how much $ those TIFs took from your ward, (4) how much money left in TIF accounts FROM your ward, (5) who got paid from TIFs in your ward. We even provide a nifty graphic map that lays all this out in a super clear manner. No one else can tell you all this!
The TIF Illumination Project has reviewed all 151 annual reports of the city’s Tax Increment Financing districts. At the end of 2013 the city’s TIF accounts held $1.71 BILLION in property tax dollars! This is a modest increase from 2012. A full report on our 2013 research is here.
The TIF Illumination Project is completely volunteer driven but we can really use your contribution so that we can publish all our work in multiple formats. Donate via PayPal here.
The TIF Illumination Project has Illuminated 147 TIFs across 25 wards. Over 2,000 people have been at these meetings and over 40 media stories have been written about our work. We’d like to know what YOU think should now be done with or to the TIF Program in Chicago. Remember, in 2012 TIFs extracted almost $500 million in property taxes from Chicago property tax payers.
PLEASE TAKE A FEW MINUTES TO COMPLETE THIS SURVEY. THANK YOU!