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Bronzeville Residents, Others Give Rahm Earful on TIFs

By aaroncynic in News on Aug 5, 2011 3:20PM

Last Thursday, residents from Bronzeville and other areas testified at a hearing on the Mayor’s Task Force on TIF Reform, and blasted the way the City has handled TIF funds. The Community Media Workshop reports residents mainly criticized the lack of transparency, accountability and distribution of the funds, as well as former Mayor Daley’s use of $10 million to plug a hole in Chicago’s budget gap. The Daley administration and the city have been criticized before for TIF monies going to less than needy recipients.

One Bronzeville resident testified that TIF’s have been “virtually impossible for local residents to understand how monies were being raised and spent in our area.” Another said that there hasn’t been a report on the number of jobs and small businesses created by TIF funds. One local entrepreneur, Bernard Loyd, said that the monies are geared towards large corporations and that currently they have little to create any local jobs. Sheila Carter, testifying on behalf of Housing Bronzeville, said the community has not benefited from the over $100 million in funds generated from TIFs. Daley used $10 million from the King/47th TIF to help plug last year's budget deficit. Meanwhile, referendums in 2004 and 2008 proved there was overwhelming community support to use TIF funds to develop affordable housing on vacant lots in the area.

Bronzeville is one of the most heavily TIFed communities. 13 TIF districts have been established, covering 80 percent of the area. Had Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics been successful, more would have been set up.