Chicagoans now have access to basic TIF project data thanks to the City’s first TIF portal launched by Mayor Rahm Emanuel last month.
The online portal presents TIF districts and project data in the form of a navigational map, with clear boundaries distinguishing the many TIF districts and colored dots identifying redevelopment and infrastructure projects across the city. Users can either click through the map to browse the hundreds of districts and projects, or they can use the search bar to look up a specific address, project name, TIF district name, or ward number.
This effort toward transparency and accountability will allow Chicagoans to easily access and review information about the city’s controversial tax increment funding (TIF) program and monitor how TIF money is being used for projects in their own neighborhood and across the city. Ultimately, the goal of the portal is to ensure taxpayer dollars are being spent in accordance with the city’s long-term economic development plan.
For each district, users can view a description of that district, the investments approved by City Council, a list of redevelopment projects approved by City Council, and links to important documents (annual reports, projection reports). For each TIF-funded redevelopment project, users can view a brief description of the project, its address, the name of the developer, the TIF funds approved by City Council, and links to important documents (community development commission reports, certificates of completion). The portal intends to eventually include district and project performance data.