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Proviso Probe

Thursday, November 09, 2006

N06, tax caps, TIFs and burning bridges

Todd Stroger's campaign paid for a mailing that included a letter from Mayor Richard M. Daley. The letter sang the praises of extending the 7% cap on the annual property tax assessment increase.

The letter is fairly unexceptional. Of course, it doesn't discuss how Daley has used TIF districts to generate money for Chicago and subtly raise property taxes across Chicago. See Chicago Reader (Ben Joravsky) TIF archive.
Public school officials say they're dismayed that a $20 million budget deficit is forcing them to lay off teachers and teacher's aides. But they might have an alternative if they'd just stand up to Mayor Daley and demand that he stop siphoning millions of dollars in property taxes away from the public schools every year....

The tax dollars they're referring to are going to TIFs, or Tax Increment Financing districts, which are astoundingly unregulated. TIFs were originally set up to help "poor and blighted" communities that weren't likely to attract much private investment without them. By law the amount of property taxes the city gets from such a district--to spend on schools, parks, libraries, and other services--is frozen at whatever everyone within its boundaries is paying when it's set up. The city then borrows money and spends it on infrastructure that might make the area more attractive, such as sidewalks and streetlights, or lends it to developers to build shopping centers or rehab run-down apartments. Any new property taxes generated by these improvements--the "increment"--goes into a TIF fund, which is used to build more infrastructure or seed more development, generating even more property taxes.

Anyways, back to the Stroger campaign mailer. It includes the following text above the address:
Remember... only one County Board President candidate supports a property tax cap.

Commissioner Tony Peraica did support putting the issue on the ballot for voters. In Illinois referenda are non-binding so they are only as important as the media and voters make them.

However, Peraica filed the paperwork with five other commissioners to put the following question on the ballot.
Shall the State of Illinois extend the recently expired 7% real estate tax assessment cap for Cook County until 2010 in order to prevent excessive property tax increases?

The five other commissioners who supported the special meeting to put the question on the ballot were: Mike Quigley, Gregg Goslin, Jerry Butler, Elizabeth Gorman and Earlean Collins.

The representative who signed for Quigley was his chief of staff Jennifer Koehler. Koehler was the deputy campaign manager for the Stroger campaign. See Sun-Times (Carol Marin).

I suppose if Quigley wants a favor from Peraica in the next year, he should make the ask himself and not delegate it to Koehler.


  • Inside report states that earlier this morning at Lou Mitchell's breakfast place downtown at 9:00am the powers that be from City Hall and County Goverment and from the Illinios Republican Party had a sit down meeting where Karen Yarbrough,Tony Peraica,Charles Flowers,Chris Welch and Ron Serpico,along with Gene Moore attended.
    The meeting was to bury the hatchet between these two strong poltical rivals and to make sure every group and inidividual gets there piece and that a true peace and prosperity set up would be achieved.
    What could'nt a month a go ever be imagined actually happened thanks to John Daley,Obama,and Madigan, as well as McKenna and ex-gov, Thompson, Serpico saying he was sorry and apoligizing to Peraica, and tony accepting it, as well as Karen,Chris and Gene hugging and putting there past differences aside.Karen,Tony and Charles will support Chris for 209,Chris,Gene and Ron will support Tony for commissioner,Karen as state rep. and committeewomen,Gene will be endorsed by Karen for recorder, and Ron will be supported for re-election in Melrose by Tony,Karen,Charles,Gene and Chris.
    Proviso finally has peace and good will and once again will take its postion as the strongest township in the state!

    By Anonymous Peace in Proviso, at 9:56 PM, November 10, 2006  

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