Months after Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said budget constraints forced him to push for pension cuts and mass school closures, an analysis of government documents reveals the city has $1.71 billion in special accounts often used to finance corporate subsidies. While the Emanuel administration has rejected open records requests for details of the subsidies, evidence suggests at least some of them have flowed to companies connected to Emanuel’s campaign donors.
The analysis conducted by the TIF Illumination Project evaluated
the city’s 151 tax increment financing, or TIF, districts, which divert
a share of property taxes out of accounts obligated to schools and into
special accounts under the mayor’s control.
The report shows $412 million was diverted last year alone into the
TIF accounts and out of traditional property tax funding streams, many
of which are dedicated to the city's schools. In 21 of those districts,
the report says 90 percent or more of all property taxes were diverted
into the TIF accounts.
Citing Chicago subsidies offered to S&C Electric Co., LaSalle
Street Capital, United Airlines and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, an
from the taxpayer watchdog group Good Jobs First found in the last 25
years, $5.5 billion of taxpayer money has gone into TIF accountshttp://www.ibtimes.com/chicago-mayor-rahm-emanuel-cuts-schools-pensions-while-preserving-fund-corporate-subsidies-1648754