WHY IT MATTERS: Hal Slager’s House Bill 1144 is modeled after the failed Daley model in Chicago.
March 8, 2017-During his tenure as Mayor of Chicago, Richard Daley set up the nation’s most elaborate corporate welfare system. Through the use of Tax Increment Financing, Chicago has amassed a slush fund that reached $1.7B at one time. The corporate welfare state drains nearly $1/2B per year from the schools and city budget according to a recent memo from Governor Bruce Rauner. Rauner is proposing that Chicago reform this system and provide Chicago Public Schools the property tax money they are due.
The abuse of Tax Increment Financing has been well documented in Illinois. Groups such as the TIF Illumination Project have been educating citizens as to the waste and cronyism associated with tax increment financing. The Chicago Reader has done a series of articles outlining what they call Chicago’s “Kleptocracy.” The Reader summed up TIF activity in 2016 as follows:
It was relatively slow in the TIF-outrage department this year, especially considering parents and teachers finally caught on that this is money that would otherwise go to the schools, and Mayor Rahm finally took my advice and dipped into the TIF fund to resolve the city’s contract dispute with the Chicago Teachers Union.
Still, our intrepid mayor got it together to shower about $16 million in TIF money on developers who want to build upscale apartments on Montrose Avenue just a few blocks from the lake.
The mayor also threw $17.5 million at developers who want to build a mixed-use housing complex at Lathrop Homes in Bucktown, axing more than 400 units of low-income housing in the process.
The mayor also geared up to spend unspecified amounts of TIF dollars redeveloping Rezkoville and the Old Chicago Main Post Office (Chicago Reader What Trump could learn from Chicago’s kleptocracy </>
And just as Chicago parents and teachers catch on to the kleptocracy that is Chicago, former Mayor Richard Daley suddenly makes a major move into northwest Indiana. With his close association with Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson he was virtually handed the reigns at the Gary Redevelopment Commission. The Gary Redevelopment Commission, or rather Daley’s MAICO, LLC, is now poised to be the biggest recipient of corporate welfare in the history of the State of Indiana under Hal Slager’s House Bill 1144. House Bill 1144 would take all increases in property tax, local income tax, state sales tax, and state income tax for 30 years and provide it to the very same tpes of projects that have bankrupted Chicago Public Schools and the City of Chicago. And while Representatives Slager and Candelaria-Reardon told a group of Munster residents that any money raised in Munster would stay in Munster, nothing in House Bill 1144 provides for that and nothing in the history of the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority suggests that they will fairly allocate funds.
The only question now is whether Indiana residents will learn from Illinois’ mistakes or allow the kleptocracy to ruin our schools, riddle our communities with crime, and leave our cities bankrupt before we wake up.
Governor Bruce Rauner full memo regarding Chicago TIfS and Chicago Public Schools:
Copyright 2017 The Northwest Indiana Gazette