Another Way to Abuse TIF

Greg Hinz of Crains/Chicago has summarized the Chicago Inspector General’s investigation into a Daley administration practice requiring TIF recipients to donate some of the money to specific not-for-profits, most often one run by Mrs. Daley called After School Matters.

Of the 27 grant agreements signed between 1985 and 2009 that directed cash contributions to private non-profits, at least 16, or 59%, specifically designated After School Matters or an affiliate.

Altogether, After School Matters received $915,000 through such “public benefits” clauses, according to the report. This is on top of more than $54.5 million in direct city grants since 2004.
The figures as to how many TIF deals, technically known as redevelopment agreements, required payments to After School Matters is only a “best estimate” from the city’s law department, the report says.

Detailed data were not kept by the city, nor were any rules or standards established as to which groups should get the money, the report says.

The Inspector General’s report.

[Added 10/8] Mick Dumke of Chicago Reader has a take on Mayor Emanuel’s non-response to the report. The reformer’s mantle seems to be developing a big hole.