Shrubtown-Dec. 25, 2013

Opinion: Shrubtown

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By Marc Stopeck

Answer Book Editor/ Editorial Cartoonist / Weekly Sales Representative

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Email: marc@oakpark.com

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Reader Comments

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Done from Oak Park  

Posted: December 26th, 2013 9:24 AM

So true, Jim. And as far as Chicago goes, it is my opinion that TIF's do nothing but add to the blight in those communities that the TIFs are intended to help. The money always seems to go to areas that need the help the least - an arena and hotel for DePaul and Marriott near McCormick Place, and the TIF money going to the project in front of the Merch Mart Holiday Inn being built in part by the Kennedy family and other connected people. All at the expense of schools and parks.

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 25th, 2013 11:58 PM

Nothing highly complex or mysterious about TIFs. The funding plan was created to provide politicians and powerbrokers easy access to a pile of tax dollars that requires only token oversight and even less accountability. The slush fund is controlled by a few well-connected individuals who have to answer to no one .Waste and mismanagement is rampant. $100,000,000 of TIF money is being used by the City of Chicago to help build a new stadium for the DePaul University's basketball team. In smaller communities like Oak Park, public funds have been spent on various boondoggle projects that have produced few benefits. Revenues and expenditures are a closely guarded secret and as we have seen in our own Village, it takes a court order to open the books.

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