May 19, 2011

Mayor Emanuel Announces Formation Of Task Force On TIF Reform

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced the formation of a task force on TIF reform to bring transparency, accountability and efficiency to the TIF system.

“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 Mayor Emanuel.

The Mayor also announced that TIF data will be easily accessible to Chicagoans online at Data on TIF budgets that has formerly been in PDFs has been put into machine-readable format 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 the Mayor is a time-limited task force of economic and finance experts that 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.

Carole Brown will chair the task force on TIF reform. Brown is a Senior Managing Director at Siebert Branford Shank & Co., where she leads the firm’s Midwest municipal practice and heads several national accounts.

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 and Co-Chairman, Credit Suisse's Merger and Acquisitions Group; 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

The task force will complete its work over a three-month period. Its recommendations will then be incorporated into the 2012 budget.