The City of Chicago Office of Inspector General (OIG) has completed an inquiry into the City’s implementation of the recommendations issued in 2011 by the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Reform Panel. Based on the response from Mayor Emanuel’s Office, OIG concludes that the City has only partially implemented the Panel’s recommendations.
Mayor Emanuel appointed the Panel and charged it with improving “transparency, accountability, and efficiency” in Chicago’s TIF system. The Panel produced a report recommending that the City:
- create an Economic Development Plan that establishes TIF goals and guides future TIF designations;
- create a multi-year Capital Budget detailing the funding for City infrastructure needs and allocate TIF resources accordingly;
- establish metrics and monitor TIF program performance;
- increase accountability and monitoring of private projects receiving TIF funding;
- develop performance thresholds for TIF districts and projects and conduct strategic reviews, the results of which should inform future strategy and continuation of the district or project; and
- empower an internal oversight body with accountability for all aspects of TIF including ensuring that the City has the capacity to execute recommendations.
In February 2019, OIG inquired about the City’s implementation
of the Panel’s recommendations. Based on the response from Mayor Emanuel’s
Office, OIG concludes that the City has only partially implemented the
recommendations. We strongly urge the new administration to revisit the
recommendations that were not fully implemented by the outgoing administration.