Daley's TIF Answers Misleading, Say Experts

Saturday, Nov 28, 2009  |  Updated 10:45 AM CDT
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Budget experts are having a hissy TIF.

During a recent radio interview on WBEZ, Mayor Daley repeated several falsehoods about the controversial program -- and experts are calling him out.

The Sun-Times Abdon M. Pallasch highlighted five specific mistruths and misstatements Daley uttered during the two-and-a-half minute interview this week. In brief:

  1. "Most TIF Funds don't generate any money," Daley said.
    Wrong, say figures from the Cook County Clerk's office, which show the funds brought in $495 million in 2008, the last latest year for which figures are available.
     
  2. "Most TIF funds are used for schools, parks, libraries, ex-offender programs, job training, economic development to keep jobs here," Daley said.
    Wrong on everything but economic development. The biggest TIF payouts go to businesses, including $15 million to the Board of Trade, $10 million to Republic Windows, and multi-million-dollar packages to lure Boeing, United and Willis to Chicago, according to the Sun-Times.
     
  3. Daley disagreed when the radio interviewer said the city generates "about half a billion dollars per year in TIF funds." Daley responded, "No, I don't think so. I don't think it's that high."
    Well, high by 1% compared to last years' $495 million, but low compared to the previous years' $555 million.

Read the full takedown at Sun-Times.com.

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