The Civic Federation

The Civic Federation is a non-partisan government research organization working to maximize the quality and cost-effectiveness of government services in the Chicago region and State of Illinois.

The Federation's membership includes business and professional leaders from a wide range of Chicago-area companies and institutions.

The Civic Federation publishes reports and commentary about local government tax policies, government services, and public expenditures. The Federation's new research institute, the Institute for Illinois' Fiscal Sustainability, examines a wide range of fiscal issues relating to the State of Illinois.

Recent Research


State of Illinois Enacted FY2015 Budget: A Review of the Operating and Capital Budgets for the Current Fiscal Year

This analysis finds that the State of Illinois' FY2015 enacted budget represents a return to unsustainable fiscal practices including borrowing for operations and underfunding known costs. This...


Financial Viability of Chicago Charter Schools: Financial Analysis of Selected Chicago Charter Schools

This report is a quantitative analysis of the finances of four Chicago charter schools. The report uses 13 indicators of financial condition to provide a snapshot of fiscal health for the five-year...


Status of Local Pension Funding Fiscal Year 2012

Chicago-area public employee pension funding levels continued to decline in FY2012, with total unfunded liabilities for the ten funds analyzed rising to $37.2 billion from $32.0 billion in FY2011. On...


Estimated Effective Property Tax Rates 2003-2012: Selected Municipalities in Northeastern Illinois

This annual report compares effective property tax rates in the six-county region of northeastern Illinois between 2003 and 2012. Effective tax rates for nearly all selected communities rose between...