Monday, September 25, 2006

TRAC at Humboldt Park, TIFs, SSAs, etc.

Clout critic Patrick McDonough caught me with an old friend, Bickerdike and TRAC organizer Claudia Montoya, at the Tax Reform Action Coalition rally in Humboldt Park Sep. 11. Representatives from Lincoln Park included people from Park West Community Association, Lincoln Central Association, Wrightwood Neighbors, and Sheffield Neighbors.

Anyone interested in the tax picture in Illinois should visit the TRAC Web site. TRAC Director Barb Head acknowledges the 7% tax cap bill (currently in Springfield) is a "band aid," but that we need to pass it. I have been very excited about the notion of acquisition-based assessments, where a property is reassessed only when it is sold. I've tried this out on many Lincoln Park residents and business owners and they seem to like it.

My general position is this: Chicago and Illinois are long due for a restructuring of the way taxes are levied and spent. Alongside the property tax abuse - whose sad consequences include the disparity in school quality statewide - TIFs (Tax Increment Financing districts) and SSAs (Special Service Areas) are two tax diversion formulas which are being abused by the mayor's Department of Planning and Development.

Archive of tax articles by the Reader's Ben Joravsky
Archive of TIF articles by the Reader's Ben Joravsky
SSA Working Group (Yahoo group)

Of course, none of this tax reform will have any effect until we really change the way the city does business.


Post a Comment

<< Home