(Chicago, IL) – May 19, 2011. Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced the formation of a task force on TIF reform, appointing Carole Brown to chair the panel.
“This committee has a simple task: to create accountability systems that will ensure our TIF investments go to projects that have real return for taxpayers – new jobs and new economic development,” said Emanuel.
Brown is a Senior Messaging Director at Siebert Branford Shank & Co.
The Mayor also announced that TIF data will be easily accessible to Chicagoans online at Cityofchicago.org/TIF, and new data has been added so that every citizen can sift through it.
“I am calling on all Chicagoans to engage in this process,” said the Mayor. “Take a look at the website and submit your ideas for improving TIF data availability, or tell us how you think the TIF investment process could be improved.”
The task force on TIF reform announced by Emanuel stems from the enormous criticism that the program’s mercurial management endured under former Mayor Richard Daley.
“Over the years [administration officials] have been a little secretive about them, and they’ve played aldermen against one another when they rape these TIFs,” said 9th Ward alderman Anthony Beale in October 2009. “Some wards have gotten new police stations, firehouses, and schools—and I haven’t gotten any.”
According to Emanuel, the time-limited task force of economic and finance experts will evaluate and reform Chicago’s TIF program. The task force is charged with:
- Crafting an overarching TIF policy with formal guiding principles. Accountability starts with a clear statement of goals;
- Developing Return on Investment criteria that can be used to measure TIF performance and establish criteria to judge TIF success or need for reform;
- Recommending concrete steps for increasing TIF transparency – by making TIF information easily accessible to taxpayers online and by incorporating TIF information into the City’s main budget;
- Evaluating the role that the TIF program plays in the overall City budget.
Taskforce members include: Carrie M. Austin, Alderman, 34th Ward; Adela Cepeda, Owner and President of A.C. Advisory, Inc; Bruce J. Katz, Vice President, Brookings Institution and founding Director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program; Melinda Kelly, Executive Director, Chatham Business Association Small Business Development Inc; Steve Koch, Vice Chairman, Credit Suisse and a Presidential appointee to the Independent Advisory Panel of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board; Andrew J. Mooney, Commissioner of the Department of Housing and Economic Development; Laurence Msall, President of the Civic Federation; Julia Stasch, Vice President of US Programs at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Rachel Weber, Associate Professor, Urban Planning and Policy Program, University of Illinois at Chicago.