For the big TIF meeting on Tuesday at the Chopin Theatre—1543 W. Division—I’ve decided to do something a little different: praise that sucker!
I mean, I’ve been blasting the way Chicago operates its tax increment financing program since the beginning of time, and Mayor Emanuel still feels free to dole out $29.5 million to developers building an upscale office skyscraper in an upscale neighborhood.
So I’ve decided to try a new tack when I show up as a panelist. If I praise the TIF program, the mayor might reform it. You know, reverse psychology. I’m thinking of doing the same thing with candidates, since the ones I vote for generally lose.
It’s not that the TIF program doesn’t have its advocates—it’s just that most of them feel compelled to stretch the truth as to how it works and whom it benefits.
That’s when they’re speaking for public consumption.
In contrast, the best defense I heard came in an “on background” gabfest I had years ago with a Daley administration official.