Chicago’s newly elected Mayor Rahm Emanuel released his Transition Plan on May 10, 2011. Among the 55 initiatives included in his Transition Plan is an initiative focusing on Tax Increment Financing (TIF). The goal of the initiative is to reform Chicago’s TIF program by creating an expert panel which will develop investment policies for TIF funds and performance goals for TIF districts and TIF projects. In addition, the expert panel will work on improving TIF transparency by developing standards for annual TIF reports and audits.
According to the Transition Plan, the TIF panel will complete the development of investment guidelines and other standards within 100 days of Mayor Emanuel’s inauguration. After the first 100 days, the TIF panel will assess the performance of existing TIF districts in Chicago and make further recommendations to the City.
The Transition Plan also notes that the City’s FY 2012 City budget will incorporate procedural changes related to TIF. Additionally, financial and spending information on the City’s TIF districts will be posted on the City’s website in an easy to understand format.