I can barely believe what I’m about to write: Thank God for Mayor Daley and his tax increment financing program.
The great TIF scam might turn out to be useful in a way no one—particularly the mayor—ever imagined. It might provide hundreds of millions of dollars in rainy-day relief to get Chicago through these hard economic times.
I’ve described the program as a slush fund, with the mayor and his cronies lining up to gorge themselves. But maybe we should be thinking of it as a piggy bank.
By declaring $180 million in TIF funds as surplus, Chicago Public Schools will get $90 million. The city will get $38 million, and the rest will go to other local governments.