Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced several TIF reforms today which are designed to improve transparency and accountability in the City’s TIF Program. The reforms are based on recommendations from the City’s TIF Reform Task Force, a Task Force that the Mayor created shortly after being elected.
The reforms, which are effective immediately, include the following:
- Creation of a comprehensive online TIF database. The online database will provide the public with access to project and performance data and will allow the public to track all of the City’s TIF projects.
- Assessment Reports. Prior to City Council consideration, the City will prepare these reports for every proposed private development TIF Project. Information in these reports will include projected Project job creation and projected return on TIF dollar investment to the City.
- Monitoring of TIF Performance. TIF Performance will now be monitored by the Department of Revenue and will include random audits of TIF Districts by independent auditors.
- City’s Internal TIF Task Force. Representatives on the City’s TIF Task Force will now include the City Comptroller, the City’s Chief Operating Officer and the City’s Chief Financial Officer. Previously, the Task Force only included members of the City’s Department of Housing and Economic Development. This Task Force considers all proposed TIF deals that are brought to the City.
While the reforms are effective immediately, it is anticipated that they will be implemented throughout 2012. According to the Mayor, “these critical reforms will strengthen the transparency and accountability involved in TIF projects, and will help the city focus the program on job creation and economic development.”