We are super proud of producing our first online TIF training video, “TIF 101”! You can watch the 20 minute video right here:
Thanks to the 80 people who contributed to this project.
We are now asking everyone to join our SECOND crowdfunding campaign so we can produce the next video in our projected series of five videos. The next video is “The TIF Hall of Shame” and will focus on the abuses and contradictions in Chicago’s massive TIF program. You won’t want to miss this!
Now you can own the data that has been driving the TIF Illumination Project all over the city for the past 18 months! Download your very own “TIF Atlas of Chicago Wards” at the TIF Data Store.
We’re using the new ward maps and you’ll see the shapes and names of all the TIF districts as well as the projects funded by TIFs IN EACH WARD. The projects are numbered and all you have to do is look to the appendix in the back of the Atlas to see the name, address, developer and amount of TIF dollars that went to that project. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! We also plot on each ward map all the schools that were CLOSED or cut in 2013. In the back we list the closed schools and list all the cuts that we know of for each public school. More info: [email protected].
Do you want EVERYONE to get Illuminated? If you do, will you please make an investment in our first crowdfunding campaign? The TIF Illumination Project is seeking to raise $15,000 to produce five twenty minute videos on all aspects of the TIF Program in Chicago. Even if you live outside of Chicago you can pitch in because the basic truths and abuses we document here are applicable across the USA as 47 states have Tax Increment Financing Programs. Learn more and invest here.
We will use these funds to pay the videographers and to support the ongoing operations of the CivicLab. We’ll be posting updates and script outlines on the TIF Reports web site on this page.
We’ve got candidates and campaign workers in the room for The CivicLab Campaign School featuring Kurth Lampe! All attendees received a USB drive with a campaign manual, a sample budget, a sample media advisory, a great communication strategy tool and spreadsheets with the ward-by-ward results of the 2011 Mayoral and Aldermanic elections. Email us at [email protected] to find out how you can get one for yourself!
We upload all the TIF presentations to http://www.slideshare.net/tomtee. These presentations have been viewed over 44,000 times!
The champ is the two presentations on the 27th ward which were viewed a total 4,292 times.Thar works out to something like 10 views every day since they were uploaded.
So – if you are one of the people whose viewed these presentations and found them valuable – PLEASE support our work by (1) signing our email list at http://tinyurl.com/SignUp-CivicLab, (2) consider renting a desk with us (we’re in Chicago’s West Loop), and (3) making a deducible contribution via our fiscal agent, the Investigative News Network – http://tinyurl.com/SupportTheLab-INN. Contact Tom Tresser at [email protected].
Want to take a crash course in Tax Increment Financing? If so, watch this 33 minute video that will introduce the topic and reveal the details of TIF in Chicago and the work of the TIF Illumination Project. The presenter is CivicLab co-founder, Tom Tresser, who is the Lead Organizer for the TIF research and presenter at TIF town meetings. The video is on this page. It’s password protected and we’re asking a contribution of $5.00 to get the password. All our work is 100% volunteer driven but we’ve some bills to pay and plans to expand. You’re welcome to invest more in our work, of course! Please use this PayPal link to make your payment. When we receive notice of your payment we’ll email you the password.
The TIF Illumination Project recently published its review of Chicago’s 2013 TIF activity.
Here is coverage and analysis from the International Business Times [they recently purchased Newsweek].
Lead organizer Tom Tresser was on Chicago Public Radio.
Tom was interviewed on WVON August 4, 2104 (29 minutes).
Extensive interview on the Heartland Institute’s August 7, 2014 podcast. http://tinyurl.com/Heartland-TIF-podcast
The TIF Illumination Project has reviewed all 151 annual reports of the city’s Tax Increment Financing districts. At the end of 2013 the city’s TIF accounts held $1.71 BILLION in property tax dollars! This is a modest increase from 2012. A full report on our 2013 research is here.
The TIF Illumination Project is completely volunteer driven but we can really use your contribution so that we can publish all our work in multiple formats. Donate via PayPal here.
Cook County Clerk David Orr leads the way in TIF data services! He released his summary of 2013 TIF data today. Chicago’s 151 TIF districts (3 were cancelled) extracted $422 million. 284 suburban TIFs extracted $261 million. We’ll be combing the data for insights over the next wee. Thank you, Clerk Orr!