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Changes coming to TIF accounting, use and department organization

For budget of 2011, City to account for TIFs in the budget, declare $180 M from $25 TIFs surplus and send it to the taxing bodies, and to merge Housing-Zoning-Planning into one department (zoning inspectors would be under Buildings. Hearing dates set. (the following is a release from Chicago Rehab Network)

Using a variety of strategies and cost-saving measures, Mayor Daley released the $6.1 billion balanced City budget yesterday. Most notable in this document is the inclusion of a new Fund 0B21 which details TIF administrative expenses and a list of each TIF District noted with its available balance and drawdowns--a measure which CRN has repeatedly called for in the budgeting process. [See 2011 Preliminary Budget Testimony]. As a critical part of the City's finances and operations, the inclusion of TIF in the city budget makes sense and we recognize this effort by the City to further increase transparency and accountability in city government.

Mayor Daley has proposed declaring a surplus on 25 TIF districts worth $180 million to help close the budget gap. Per State law, other taxing bodies are entitled to this surplus. The City's share is $38 million with the lion's share of $90 million to go to the Chicago Public Schools. This move also releases $15 million for Cook County, $12 million for the Park District and $6 million for City Colleges.

While the large budget deficit has deemed TIF as a necessary source of funds, we hope that this is a precedent that does not continue -- pulling those dollars into the City corporate fund makes them no longer available for neighborhood housing and economic development.

Another important change is the consolidation of the Department of Zoning and the Department of Community Development as part of cost-cutting and streamlining of city functions. The merger will form the new Department of Housing and Economic Development. Zoning inspectors will be placed under the Department of Buildings.

Departmental hearings will begin on Monday, October 18th. The Department of Housing and Economic Development hearing will be held on October 25th at 9:00 am at City Council Chambers. See the full schedule here.

A public hearing is set for November 3rd at 9:00 am at City Hall and the final budget vote will be held on November 17th.

Stay tuned for CRN's Full Budget Analysis and other budget updates. Contact CRN for more information at 312-663-3936 or visit