Mayor Rahm Emanuel has launched the City’s first TIF portal, an easy-to-navigate map of TIF districts and project data. The Portal is part of the mayor’s continuing efforts to make Chicago one of the most transparent and accountable city governments in the country, and to make the TIF program in particular easily accessible to the Chicago public.
To navigate the map, Chicagoans can search by address, project name, TIF district name, or ward number. Users can also browse the hundreds of TIF programs and districts on the easy-to-use virtual map.
The new portal will make it easier for Chicagoans to access information about TIF money that is being used for projects in their neighborhood and areas that are being revitalized thanks to TIF, such as the Pilsen Industrial Corridor pictured on the map.
For each district, the portal provides a description of the district, the investments made there approved by the City Council, a list of redevelopment projects approved by the City Council, and links to key documents for the district such as annual reports and revenue projections. For each TIF-funded redevelopment project, users can find the name of the developer, TIF funds approved by the City Council, the project’s address and description, and links to key documents for the project including certificates of completion and the Community Development Commission reports.
In addition, the portal includes data on TIF-funded infrastructure projects approved within the district, such as streetscapes, transit investments, and street resurfacings. In the future, the portal will also include district and project performance data.
The city has been working hard to improve the TIF program’s accountability and ensure taxpayer dollars are spent in accordance with the city’s long-term economic development plan. Upon entering office, one of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s first acts was to establish a TIF Reform Task Force to examine the Tax Increment Financing program to recommend changes that would enhance the TIF program’s effectiveness and transparency.
This aligns with one of the mayor’s primary goals, to make Chicago the most transparent city by making extensive online data on city spending, crime, and other city-related information accessible on an unprecedented level to all Chicago residents.